National Gallery of Art - EXHIBITIONS

Image: Audubon's Dream Realized: Selections from The Birds of America, September 25, 2005 - March 16, 2006

This exhibition is no longer on view at the National Gallery. Please follow the links below for related online resources or visit our current exhibitions schedule.

Related Resources

Exhibition Overview

Works by
John James Audubon
in the Gallery's Collection

Biography of
John James Audubon

View Related
Collection Tour
Selections from John James Audubon's The Birds of America (1826-1838)

Borrow and Browse Learning Resources

Asher B. Durand's "Kindred Spirits"
On view in the National Gallery's, West Building, Main Floor, American galleries, gallery C

Press Materials

Image: di Paolo, Giovanni
Sienese, c. 1403 - 1482
The Adoration of the Magi, c. 1450, tempera on panel, 26.9 x 46.4 cm (10 9/16 x 18 1/4 in.) framed: 35.88 x 56.36 x 5.24 cm (14 1/8 x 22 3/16 x 2 1/16 in.), National Gallery of Art, Washington, Andrew W. Mellon Collection, 1937.1.13

John James Audubon (1785–1851) combined his love of nature with his artistic talent to produce some of the most beautiful and lifelike depictions of birds ever created.  This exhibition presents forty-seven of the artist's hand-colored etchings selected from the Gallery's early edition of the publication, The Birds of America (1826–1838), one of only two known complete sets preserved in their original, unbound state. Audubon's dream of recording every native bird of North America consumed nearly twenty years of his life and was realized with the publication of this mammoth edition of 435 hand-colored etchings, all based on his vivid life-size drawings. Some of the set's most celebrated and outstanding prints will be on view, including American Flamingo (1838), Carolina Parrot (1827), and Ivory-billed Woodpecker (1829), a species thought to be extinct until its recent sighting in Arkansas. Also included in the exhibition is one of Audubon's great oil paintings, the superb work Osprey and Weakfish (1829), a new gift to the Gallery from Richard Mellon Scaife.

Sponsor: The exhibition is made possible by General Dynamics.