Wild and Beautiful Creatures:The Life and Work of J.J. Audubon

Organized by the Sharon Historical Society & Museum in Sharon, Connecticut, Wild and Beautiful Creatures: The Life and Work of J.J. Audubon is a celebration of the art, science, and heritage of John James Audubon, one of America’s greatest naturalists. The Tremaine Art Gallery exhibit, Wild and Beautiful Creatures, is on view August 30 – October 13 and runs concurrently with The Life and Work of J.J. Audubon on view at the Sharon Historical Society Museum September 14 – December 13. 

Drawn largely from local collections, including that of Hotchkiss School Special Collections, most of the prints are from Robert Havell Jr.’s original hand-colored “double elephant folio” edition. Also on exhibit will be examples from other editions, as well as one of the few surviving oil paintings from a projected “Gallery of Paintings” of the birds, and one of the rare copper plates from which the Havell edition was pulled.

At the same time, the Sharon Historical Society and Museum will provide context with an exhibition on Audubon’s life and work. The show will explore his fascinating professional and family life, the evolution of his publications, his innovative working methods, his complex relationship with the conservation of American species and their environment, and his heritage in the founding and work of the National Audubon Society and Audubon Sharon. Among the objects on display are one of Audubon’s rare portrait drawings, his favorite snuff box, and a beautiful specimen of a passenger pigeon, abundant in Audubon’s lifetime but by the early 20th Century extinct. The exhibition will be complemented by an exhibit of works by local artist Allen Blagden, one of today’s foremost wildlife watercolorists.

Events & Programs

– September 26, 6.30-7.30pm. Audubon’s Art and Science: A Guided Tour , by Michael Foley, Director of Arader Galleries, New York. Tremaine Gallery at Hotchkiss School.

– September 28, 4-5.30pm. Minnie’s Land: Audubon’s Final Home , illustrated lecture by Matthew Spady (author of the forthcoming book Audubon Park: The Neighborhood Manhattan Forgot ). Sharon Historical Society. Registration preferred, audubon@sharonhist.org

– September 29, 4pm. John James Audubon’s Pictures in Prose , an illustrated talk by Eileen Fielding. Hotchkiss Library of Sharon.

– October 5, 3-5pm: Drawing the Birds. Come and try your hand at drawing the Center’s raptors. Sharon Audubon Center. Please register via email to efielding@audubon.org.

– October 6, 3pm, Audubon’s Life and Work: A Guided Tour , by Christopher Robinson, exhibition organizer. Sharon Historical Society. Registration preferred, audubon@sharonhist.org.

– October 12, 4-5pm Allen Blagden will lead a walk-through of his exhibition Inspired by Audubon: The Art of Allen Blagden at the Sharon Historical Society and discuss the wonders and difficulties of painting in the wild.

– October 26, time to be announced. Adventures in Bird Photography , an illustrated lecture by professional bird photographer Sarah Blodgett. Sharon Audubon Center.

Thank you to our Underwriters and Sponsors

AIG Private Client Group
The Tremaine Art Gallery at Hotchkiss
Alexandra & Frederick Peters
Kent Wine & Spirits, proprietors Ira & Maureen Smith
Klemm Real Estate
Maureen & Patrick Dore
Nora Jordan & Allen Reiser
Kathy & Chris Robinson
Lucinda & Brian Ross
Jodi Scheurenbrand & Mike Smith
BZ Coords & Neil Jordan
Ian & Liz John
Kevin McSherry
Jay & Kathy Metz
Leslie & Nick Moore
Rhonda Schwartz & Stephen Wermiel
Eileen Tedesco
 Susan & John Allen
William Burback & Peter Hofmann
Helen Degener
Helen Haje
Liz & Ian John
Ed & Mary Kirby
David & Deborah Moore
Carol & Larry Rand