John James Audubon’s The Birds of America
Today only about 200 complete sets of The Birds of America exist. The Museum’s set, bound in four leather portfolios, was acquired by the State of North Carolina in 1848 and kept for more than a century at the State Library before being transferred to the Museum. The hand-colored engravings were recently conserved and rebound.
In the new Audubon Gallery, the NCMA presents Audubon’s work in special cases designed for each of the enormous “double elephant” volumes, with hydraulic lifts that allow staff access so that the pages can be turned periodically to display a new selection of birds.
Organized by the North Carolina Museum of Art. Support is provided by the Henry Luce Foundation and the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust. Additional support is provided by the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources and the North Carolina Museum of Art Foundation, Inc. Research for this exhibition was made possible by Ann and Jim Goodnight/The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fund for Curatorial and Conservation Research and Travel.