Art & Art History

“Exploring the West with John James Audubon: The Last Expedition”

November 14, 2012
Thurs., Nov. 15, 5 p.m. Robert McCracken Peck Curator of Art and Artifacts at the Academy of Natural Sciences at Drexel University lectures in Decker Theater
In the spring of 1843, the well-known naturalist and artist John James Audubon set off from New York City on what was to be his longest and last great expedition of discovery. With a small party of friends and associates, the self-proclaimed “American Woodsman,” who had recently completed his landmark work, The Birds of America, traveled by boat from Saint Louis up the Missouri River to the mouth of the Yellowstone. Officially, he was gathering information and specimens for a newly launched book on American mammals, but he was also on the lookout for new birds.

In a slide lecture noted historian Robert McCracken Peck will use images of Audubon’s western paintings and the surviving specimens and artifacts gathered during his nine-month expedition to describe this last great adventure and put its accomplishments in context. 

A Fellow of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University (to which Audubon was elected a corresponding member in 1831), Peck is the author of the B.B.C. book Land of the Eagle: A Natural History of North America and co-author of A Glorious Enterprise: The Academy of Natural Sciences and the Making of American Science. He is consulting curator for “In Pursuit of Beauty: John James Audubon and the Golden Age of Bird Illustration,” on view in the Kohl Gallery until November 30. 


This lecture is sponsored by the Kohl Gallery at Washington College. For more information please contact Patrice DiQuinzio (410-778-7206,

Last modified on Nov. 5th, 2017 at 2:52pm by Julie Wills.