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-People of the Sky: Bird Spirits in American Indian
 

  Alexander Wilson: Father of American Ornithology

Exhibit poster
Belted Kingfisher
Alexander Wilson
America c.1810
hand-colored engraving

Alexander Wilson: Father of American Ornithology
October 8, 2010-January 6, 2011
At the Museum in the John and Peggy Maximus Gallery

Soon after his arrival from Scotland, Alexander Wilson, with few advantages and little else but a drive to better himself, fixed on the idea of producing the first comprehensive record of American birds. He recorded his impressions of America’s birds through drawings, prose and poetry, and in little more than seven years, published an important work of early American natural history.

Not an artist by training or talent his drawings have an honest and natural realism. Individual essays on 293 birds were accompanied by 76 hand colored plates.


 

 

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