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This touring exhibition presents an exciting opportunity to display a beautiful selection of over 40 plates from one of the world’s most famous and valuable rare books, Birds of America by John James Audubon (1785–1851).

Available to hire from Summer 2022

Birds of America is a landmark work of ornithological illustration which took almost 12 years to complete. Today only 120 copies are known to exist and they are rarely on display. The plates featured in this exhibition, each measuring almost one metre (39 inches) in height, are drawn from the National Museums Scotland library collection. The majority have never been shown in public and have undergone years of conservation treatment in preparation for their inaugural display and tour.

This exhibition is a new interpretation of the making and significance of this incredible body of work and the story will be complemented by letters, taxidermy, manuscripts, photography and films. It will explore the book’s historical context and consider why Audubon’s artistic style was so ground-breaking. Lastly, it will question how this book came to influence natural sciences today and what we can learn from its legacy.

Download the tour pack

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