John Gould: Selections from The Birds of Australia

July 10, 2013–ongoing

John Gould's Birds of Australia

John Gould, Birds of Australia

Hand-colored prints of birds from Australia by John Gould, one of the most important naturalists and illustrators of the 19th century, are the focus of the exhibit, John Gould: Selections from The Birds of Australia.

The mini-exhibit commemorates the 175th anniversary of Gould’s arrival in Australia, which resulted in his famous book, The Birds of Australia. More than 50 lithographs of colorful birds will be on display through January 5, 2014.

Based on almost two years of travel in Australia and surrounding islands, The Birds of Australia was published in the 1840s, and is considered to be Gould’s masterpiece. The work continues to be the most exhaustive book ever produced focusing on the birds of that continent. Indeed, Gould collected and documented so many new species in his travels—more than three hundred—that very few additions have been made since.

In addition to serving as important scientific works, the exhibited prints are stunningly colored and flawlessly drafted, highlighting the exquisite plumage and elegance of these birds from Australia.