Exhibition recounts Audubon's adventures in Edinburgh

One of the world's most magnificent and valuable books is a key feature in the National Library of Scotland's summer exhibition.

A volume of John James Audubon's famous 'Birds of America' is on loan to us from Renfrewshire Council Education and Leisure Services. From 4 July to 15 October, it is on display in 'Birds of a feather: Audubon's Adventures in Edinburgh'. Our free exhibition introduces seven influential men Audubon met during his visits to Edinburgh, from 1826 to 1839, who made 'Birds of America' possible. Among them was Sir Walter Scott.

In the 1820s Audubon was a wildlife artist struggling to get his glorious bird paintings published. Today his portrait hangs in the White House, and six years ago a complete four-volume set of his book sold for an amazing $8.8 million.

Original plates from the book are also on show at 'Birds of a Feather', and we have recreated a typical engraver's workshop. A programme of events to complement the exhibition runs until October. See our press release and exhibition pages for further details.

The exhibition opens on a significant NLS anniversary. Fifty years ago on 4 July the Queen opened our George IV Bridge Building. Our feature 'Celebrating 50 years' highlights a different item from our collections every week.

30 June 2006

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