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The Largest Bird Book In Auckland

Auckland City Council - The Largest Bird Book In Auckland

John James Audubon attempted to paint every bird in America life size. A facsimile copy of his Birds of America, the largest book in Auckland, is on display at the Auckland Central City Library.

This impressive book is part of a larger, visually attractive exhibition called "The Charm of Birds" which began on 6 September 1999 in the exhibition room of Special Collections, 2nd Floor, Auckland Central City Library.

The exhibition is devoted to the great bird books of the nineteenth century and features works such as Thomas Bewick's A history of British Birds (1805), John Gould's A monograph of the Trochilidae or humming birds (1849-55), John Lewin's Birds of New South Wales (1813), and Walter Buller's A history of the birds of New Zealand (1873).

As scientific expeditions in the nineteenth century uncovered more bird species and collected specimens to describe and classify, specialist bird artists emerged to cater for the expanding market in bird books. Artists such as Edward Lear, J.G. Keulemans and Joseph Smit are featured in this exhibition. The invention of lithography enabled these artist to display their art in full glorious colour.

The exhibition runs from 6 September to 27 November 1999.

Hours: Monday to Friday 9.30 to 5 pm; Saturday 10 to 4 pm.

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