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Audubon’s Beautiful Birds
The Kohl Gallery is exhibiting an exquisite collection of rare books and prints in a tribute to birds and birding. “In Pursuit of Beauty: John J. Audubon and the Golden Age of Bird Illustration” continues through November 30.
The 20 books and 19 prints in the exhibit include works by the great naturalists of the 19th and early 20th centuries – Audubon, William Beebe, Charles Lucien Bonaparte, Daniel Giraud Elliot, John Gould, Alexander Wilson. There is even a 17th-century book with a decree by King James granting his subjects the right to hunt birds on Sundays.
Sean Meade ’12, Erica Ward ’13 and Rae Ramos ’14 are student curators, assisting Alex Castro, the College’s Architect, Exhibition and Book Designer in Residence. Castro, who intended from the show’s inception to fill the gallery with the sounds of birds, woke up one night and realized he needed to capture the sights and sounds of the bird banding project underway at nearby Chino Farms to accompany the exhibit.
“It is all part of this bird spirit,” Castro says. “Birds being released, taking wing, it’s the most wonderful thing. And at the center of it all, these beautiful still images of birds from the past.”