On View
Jan 30, 2009–May 24, 2009

While there is little evidence that James Audubon (1785-1851) worked Illinois, his Birds of America (1827–includes many species that are residents of or migrate through our further connection lies with the Library, which owns one of only 120 complete sets of the original four-double-elephant folio, housed in the Book & Manuscript Library.

Sponsored in part by Jack and Kathy Chamblin; France@Illinois,Department of French; Office of the Chancellor, U of I; and the Office of the Provost and Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs, U of I. Image credit: John James Audubon, Anhinga (Black-bellied Darter), 1833–36, Hand-colored engraving, UIUC Rare Book & Manuscript Library


The Library funded an extensive restoration in 1988, after which the plates were not re-bound. This was the first time since the restoration that a selection of the prints had been publicly displayed.

Chosen from among the 435 hand-colored engravings that comprise Audubon’s masterpiece publication, the works in this exhibition highlighted the artist’s mastery of ornithological drawing and charted the story of birds in Illinois.

Exhibition Programming

February 5–5:30 pm
Gallery Conversation
"Birds in Art: Audubon Prints and Mylayne Photographs" with Jo Kibbee (curator), Jeffrey Brawn (Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences), Richard Burkhardt (History), Gregory Lambeth (bird enthusiast), and Jennifer Monson (Dance)

April 2–5:30 pm
Public Workshop and Performance • "Navigation: An Investigation into Physical Intelligence" Based on her work on bird migration and navigation, choreographer Jennifer Monson led a public workshop on how our sensory experiences inform how we move through space, and included a site-specific performance with students from the department of Dance.

April 4–10 am
Audubon Tour and Bird Walk • Jo Kibbee, curator of Audubon at Illinois and Gregory Lambeth, bird enthusiast, led a tour of the exhibition and then a bird walk at Meadowbrook Park in Urbana.

Guest Curator: Jo Kibbee

Curatorial Advisors: Greg LambethLaura, LarkinDennis Sears, and Diane Schmidt