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Wild Turkey, Male

Wild Turkey, Male, 1827, from “The Birds of America,” Plate 1, double elephant folio edition, London, by John James Audubon, Colored aquatint engraving by W. H. Lizars, Gift of Jeffery M. Leving, Gift of Jeffery M. Leving, 2014.20.1.

John James Audubon, the most well-known natural history illustrator of all time, produced his original “double elephant folio” edition of the famous The Birds of America on the largest paper available at the time. The book, with its life-sized depictions of birds, was extremely expensive. Audubon struggled to sell subscriptions, but today it nevertheless remains the largest and most respected collection of bird illustrations ever published.