Old Man River:  History Along the MississippiApril 19-November 2, 2003

Man vs. Nature

John James Audubon -
Artist and Naturalist, 1785-1851

Bald eagle and alligator crossing sign
The Upper vs. The Lower Mississippi
man vs. nature exhibit section
Audubon artifacts on loan:
WATERCOLOR PAINTING "Chipping Squirrel Hackee" by John James Audubon, c.1841, published in The
Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America
OIL PAINTING "Ground Rats or Cotton Rats" by John Woodhouse Audubon
JOURNAL of John James Audubon, written in preparation for The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America,
includes field notes, descriptions and measurements for about two dozen mammal species.
~ John James Audubon State Park and Museum, Henderson KY

An unsuccessful businessman on the Kentucky frontier in 1820, John James Audubon turned to the study of birds. Floating down the Mississippi River with his art materials, Audubon was the first to paint wildlife with authentic poses and in their natural habitats.

Twelve years later, Audubon published the first of four illustrated volumes on The Birds of America. This volume was an overnight success overseas but here at home, the self-taught artist was initially scorned by his own countrymen. In 1843 he conducted a field trip up the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers to prepare for The Vivparous Quadrupeds of North America, but completed only half of the images before his eyesight failed. His son, John Woodhouse Audubon, finished the volume.

The paintings of John James Audubon have since become legendary, and became the incentive for one of the most powerful conservation movements in history. The National Audubon Society continues to work toward the appreciation, preservation, and restoration of our wildlife environments.


This section "Man vs. Nature" has the following related pages:

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2 men in a canoe
Early Exploration and Development
River Days
view of Bellview, Iowa
Riverfront Property
Civil War enenactors
Man vs. Man
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Bald eagle and conservation officer
Man vs. Nature
jazz musician
The Arts Along the River
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