Avis Marvelous: Ornithology on the Western Frontier 1776—1896 will be on display in the Hoch Gallery from March 6 through September 4 The exhibit consists of 92 detailed engravings, chromolithographs, and lithographs kindly provided by the Lee Silliman Collection that depict 100 North American birds of the Trans-Mississippi West frontier, as well as Alaska. Such birds include quail, eagle, albatross, and many more. These 19th-century engravings, chromolithographs, and lithographs highlight the works of well-known bird illustrators such as John James Audubon, Robert Ridgeway, John L. Ridgeway, and Titian Ramsey Peale.
These vibrant original engravings were either hand-tinted or published as chromolithographs. As you browse through the collection, you’ll notice the backgrounds in the engravings may suggest the bird’s habitat. The engravings were matted and framed in handcrafted Butternut molding. Birding enthusiasts may note that some common and scientific names for species have changed since the creation of these pieces in the 19th century, especially with the advent of DNA analysis.