John James Audubon's The Birds of America stands as an unparalleled achievement in American art, a huge book that puts nature dramatically on the page. With that work, Audubon became one of the most adulated artists of his time, and America's first celebrity scientist. In this fresh approach to Audubon's art and science, Gregory Nobles shows us that Audubon's greatest creation was himself. A self-made man incessantly striving to secure his place in American society, Audubon made himself into a skilled painter, a successful entrepreneur, and a prolific writer, whose words went well beyond birds and scientific description. He sought status with the "gentlemen of science" on both sides of the Atlantic, but he also embraced the ornithology of ordinary people. In pursuit of popular acclaim in art and science, Audubon crafted an expressive, audacious, and decidedly masculine identity as the "American Woodsman," a larger-than-life symbol of the new nation, a role he perfected in his quest for transatlantic fame. Audubon didn't just live his life; he performed it. In exploring that performance, Nobles pays special attention to Audubon's stories, some of which—the murky circumstances of his birth, a Kentucky hunting trip with Daniel Boone, an armed encounter with a runaway slave—Audubon embellished with evasions and outright lies. Nobles argues that we cannot take all of Audubon's stories literally, but we must take them seriously. By doing so, we come to terms with the central irony of Audubon's true nature: the man who took so much time and trouble to depict birds so accurately left us a bold but deceptive picture of himself.
Artist, writer, naturalist, and frontiersman John James Audubon explored America's wilderness during the early;19th century, observing and recording the wonders he found there.;From the Kentucky frontier to the Mississippi bayo.
John James Audubon, an early American naturalist and painter, produced one of the greatest works of natural history and art of the nineteenth century, The Birds of America. As the record of the interior story of the making of this monumental work, his journal of 1826 is one of the richest documents in the history of American culture. ø The first accurate transcription of Audubon?s 1826 journal, this edition corrects many of the errors, both intentional and unintentional, found in previous editions. Such errors have obscured the figure of Audubon as a man struggling to realize his professional and artistic dreams. When Audubon embarked for Liverpool from New Orleans in 1826, he carried with him more than 250 of his watercolor drawings in a heavy case, a packet of letters of introduction, and many a good reason to believe that he was a fool to be gambling his family?s fortunes on so risky and grandiose a venture. These journal entries, conveying with energy and emotion Audubon?s experience of risking everything on a dream??Oh, America, Wife, Children and acquaintances, Farewell!??document an American icon?s transformation from a beleaguered backwoods artist and naturalist to the man who would become America?s premier ornithologist, illustrator of birds, and nature essayist.
"The first accurate transcription of John James Audubon's 1843 journals, which includes recently discovered and previously unpublished journal entries detailing his last expedition along the upper Missouri River"--Provided by publisher.
United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on the Library
Joint Hearing Before the Committee on the Library, United States Senate and the Committee on the Library, House of Representatives, Seventy-first Congress, Second Session, on S. 3154, a Bill to Provide for the Erection of a Suitable Memorial to the Memory of John James Audubon at Henderson, Kentucky, April 21, 1930
Author: United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on the Library