Drawing from the museum’s extensive collection of ornithological prints, Curator Gerald Dinkins has selected ninety examples of aquatic bird prints by ten artists. In general, the term waterbirds is used to describe species within several worldwide families and includes the vast array of sea birds and waterfowl. The artists represented are Eleazar Albin (1713–1759), Mark Catesby (1682–1749), Xaviero Manetti (1723–1784), Alexander Wilson (1766–1813), John James Audubon (1785–1851), Prideaux John Selby ((1788–1867), John Gould (1804–1881), Daniel Giraud Elliot (1835–1915), Henry Eeles Dresser (1838–1915), and Rex Brasher (1869–1960). All of the prints are hand colored and comprise engravings, lithographs, and in the case of Brasher, photogravure.
The following taxonomic groups are represented: Alcidae (auks, murres, and puffins), Procellariiformes (tubenoses including albatrosses, storm petrels, petrels, and shearwaters), Anatidae (ducks, geese, and swans), Stercorariidae (jaegers), Gaviidae (loons), and Podecipedidae (grebes). Many of the artworks depict birds interacting in their natural settings and show the two worlds they occupy—water and sky.