Identifying With Birds

J. Drew Latham: A Feel Guide to John James Audubon’s
Birds of America (1827-1839), Volume 1
February 17 – April 28, 2023

Are you a student of ornithology or one who simply loves birds? This spotlight exhibition presents the work of visiting poet and cultural ornithologist J. Drew Lanham. His “Feel Guide” will help the viewer not just identify birds, but to identify with birds.

Each week, viewers will have the opportunity to read two new avian “feel notes” presented alongside the corresponding hand-painted Audubon plate from the Museum’s original 1827-1830 edition. By inserting Lanham’s words directly into this visual dialogue, the museum seeks to augment the work of Audubon and frame new conversations and thinking on the appreciation of birds and cultural integration into the history and future of conservation. 

This work is an act of arcing head to heart — analytical thinking to evocative feeling — such that in the end, the viewer leaves with adoration, appreciation, but also more questions than answers, about who birds are and what they mean personally and societally.

J. Drew Lanham, Visiting Artist

Tidelines Editors

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