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Naming of America

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Audubon’s Last Wilderness JourneyThe Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America

Published by GILES in association with the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University, Alabama

Release — (UK and USA)

Dimensions — 280 pages, 254 x 305 mm (12 x 10 in)

Format — Hardback

Price — UKĀ£45.00 / US$59.95

ISBN — 978-1-911282-10-5

Sales Points

  • Presents all 150 original, hand-coloured plates from John James Audubon’s Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America
  • Will have significant appeal to the general public and  to art history students, scientists and wildlife scientists, environmentalists, researchers and academics
  • There is very little currently available in print on the Quadrupeds

About the Book

John James Audubon's Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America is the largest and most significant colour plate book printed in the United States in the nineteenth century, and a fitting monument to the genius of America’s most famous ornithologist, naturalist, and painter. Measuring an impressive 27 11/16 × 21 ¼ inches the Quadrupeds was first published over 3 volumes in 1845-1848, as a three-volume elephant folio broadsheet edition, and was the artist’s final great natural history work.

This new volume reproduces all 150 original, hand-colored lithographic prints, supported by new photography of Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University’s copy of the original volumes which have been subject to recent conservation. It includes a timeline of Audubon’s life and career and a map of his 1843 expedition into the pre-settlement wilderness with Reverend John Bachman, his friend, fellow naturalist and collaborator on the original accompanying text. Essays by noted experts in the fields of art history, conservation and life science put this remarkable series of illustrations in context, explaining its art historical and scientific legacy. They consider the enduring zoological and ecological significance of the Quadrupeds folios, including their scientific value to issues such as classification, and how our relationship towards nature has changed since the 1840s.

The volume additionally includes transcripts from the journal kept by Edward Harris, cashier to the 1843 expedition, describing the everyday details of their journey and the animals they encountered, as well as a letter, written in 1851, from Audubon’s son Victor to Harris, detailing the circumstances of his father’s death.

This entire work is a remarkable record highlighting the wider importance of the North American wilderness and the significance and beauty of Audubon’s detailed illustrations.                 

About the Author(s)

Ron Tyler is the former director of the Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, TX. Charles T. Butler is the former executive director of the Columbus Museum, GA. Dennis Harper is curator of Collections and Exhibitions at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University, AL. Daniel Patterson is professor of English Language and Literature, Central Michigan University. Sarah Zohdy is an assistant professor at the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University. Robert Gitzen is an assistant professor at the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University. Jim Armstrong is a professor at the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University. Chris Lepczyk is an associate professor at the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University.