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Iridescence: John Gould’s Hummingbirds

May 27, 2017 - August 27, 2017

This collection of avian artworks by John Gould includes 80 antique prints from c. 1861. This J Gould exhibition will highlight a recent acquisition and give visitors an in-depth look at a single artist prominent in the wildlife art field. The collection includes all 20 hummingbirds known to exist in North America at that time, plus 60 other hummingbirds from around the world.

About John Gould (From 2017 “Call of the Wild”)
By the age of 23 John Gould was the curator and preserver of the Zoological Society of London. Less than four years later he published his first book about birds. Over his sixty-year career, Gould produced approximately three thousand plates of birds. More an ornithologist and an expert in taxidermy than a fine artist, Gould worked with artists including his wife Elizabeth Gould, Edward Lear, Joseph Wolf, and William Matthew Hart to produce the images that appeared in his books. It was work by Gould—identifying many of the specimens that Charles Darwin brought back to England with him from the Galapagos Islands as unique species—that was a cornerstone in Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Soundscape Experience within the Exhibition:
Thomas Rex Beverly is a field recordist who created the soundscape currently playing in Iridescence: John Gould’s Hummingbirds. The soundscape is titled: “Iridescence: A Day in the Life of a Hummingbird,” and is a delightful 15 minute composition of sounds including: hummingbirds flying, a thunderstorm, wind, and crickets chirping.

Listen to the full soundscape below:

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