While we are used to referring to the magnificent Birds of America (1827–1838) as Audubon’s work, it is really also that of his printer, Robert Havell, Jr. His contribution to the finished product has been marginalized by generations of devoted Audubon admirers. This talk is a first attempt to recover Havell’s impact on individual plates (which ranged from supplying backgrounds to adding in entire specimens) as well as on the work as a whole. One underlying theme of these reflections will be the extent to which an Englishman who had never seen the United States shaped a work usually defined as quintessentially “American.”
Audubon scholar and IU Professor Christoph Irmscher will speak in the Lilly Library Slocum Room. A reception will follow his talk.
A Rare Book School Lecture sponsored by the Friends of the Lilly Library.