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For the Birds


Guide to the art prints of John James Audubon - Birds of America artist


It was probably in the early 1950s that there was published by the New York Graphic Society, Fine Art Publishers, New York City, the following reproductions:
1 Wild Turkey 167 Key-West Dove
26 Carolina Parrot 327 Shoveller Duck
61 Pileated Woodpecker 401 Red-breasted Merganser

These reproductions are the size of the original Double Elephant prints, 39 1/2 inches by 26 1/2 inches. All six were displayed in the lobby at the former Princeton Inn, Princeton, NJ.

The author has seen two reproductions, Plate 79, "Tyrant Flycatcher," and Plate 249, "Snowy Heron or White Egret," published in 1951 by the American Print Craft Guild, 44 Archer Drive, Bronxville, N.Y. (endorsed by the National Association of Audubon Societies).

Reader's Digest
In 1959 Reader's Digest, with the sale of Our Amazing World of Nature, accompanied this book with certain reproductions of the Birds of America which the company states were made from photographs of prints that are part of the Double Elephant folio Collection at the New York Public Library.

In 1964 the New York publishers, Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York, N.Y., published reproductions of 30 prints of the Double Elephant folio of the Birds of America, size 1'7 by 14 inches, which were sold for $25. A brochure containing the story of the Naturalist and the folio, written by George Dock, Jr., accompanied the set of prints. These reproductions were also offered in England by Heron Books of London. Following is a list of the prints reproduced.
1 Wild Turkey 136 Meadowlark
12 Baltimore Oriole 137 Yellow-breasted Chat
17 Carolina Pigeon 159 Cardinal Grosbeak
26 Carolina Parrot 206 Summer or Wood Duck
53 Painted Finch 211 Great Blue Heron
62 Passenger Pigeon 217 Louisiana Heron
77 Belted Kingfisher 221 Mallard Duck
82 Whip-poor-will 250 Arctic Tern
87 Florida Jay 251 Brown Pelican
91 Broad-winged Hawk 313 Blue-winged Teal
97 Little Screech Owl 357 American Magpie
102 Blue Jay 366 Iceland or Jer Falcon
107 Canada Jay 367 Band-tailed Pigeon
111 Pileated Woodpecker 406 Trumpeter Swan
128 Cat Bird 431 American Flamingo

On one occasion the Book-of-the-Month Club offered these prints as a "BookDividend," obtainable for two Book-Dividend Certificates plus $4.50.

In the I960s a product promotion campaign of the Kimberly-Clark Corporation of Neenah, Wis., used a selection of twenty-four 8- by 6-inch lithographed reproductions of Audubon's Birds of America, produced "especially for Kleenex Man Size Tissues with the cooperation of the National Audubon Society." Each package of the tissues contained a single reproduction and on the back of each was printed an offer of the entire set of twenty-four reproductions which included "Audubon's American Eagle, garden and game birds from all sections of the United States" for $1 and the premium seal from a box containing the product. The offer was withdrawn when the supply of reproductions was exhausted.

Woman's Day
In the 1960s Woman's Day magazine, at that time published for the Atlantic & Pacific Stores, offered to the public the following reproductions of the Birds of America, the size of which were 11 1/4 inches by 8 1/4 inches:
44 Summer Red-bird 202 Red-throated Diver
87 Florida Jay 327 Shoveller Duck
53 Painted Bunting 354 Louisiana Tanager and Scarlet Tanager
159 Cardinal Grosbeak
188 Boat-tailed Grackle

in 1971 there was offered for subscription a full-sized (98 X 68 cm) facsimile edition of twenty selected plates reproduced from the original folio edition of Audubon's Birds of America limited to 250 copies for the United States, numbered and signed by J. A. C. Roberts, Director, The Ariel Press Ltd., Covent Garden, London, England. The first volume was published in 1972, the price of which was $350.
The twenty subjects selected for the first volume were:

White Throated Sparrow Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Baltimore Oriole White-crowned Sparrow
Blue Winged Yellow Warbler Pigeon Hawk
Carolina Parrot Summer or Wood Duck
Yellow Bird or American Goldfinch Louisiana and Scarlet Tanager
Painted Bunting White-winged Crossbill
Red-shouldered Hawk Hairy, Red-bellied, Red-shafted, Lewis',
Red-breasted Woodpeckers
Passenger Pigeon
Snow Owl Band-tailed Pigeon
Florida Jay American Sparrow Hawk
Pileated Woodpecker

A second volume of twenty "horizontal or landscape" plates has been scheduled for publication at a yet-to-be-determined date in 1973. The selection of plates for the second volume had not been completed at the time of this writing nor had a price been set.

The set of the folio from which the reproductions in this two-volume edition of facsimiles are made is that in the collection of the Meiningen State Museum.

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