The Huntsville Museum of Art is thrilled to announce the opening of the much sought after exhibition, Birds of America: Audubon Aquatints from the Kathy and Michael Mouron Collection, on Sunday, July 23.
Birds of America will be on view at the Museum for general admission until November 19.
Birds of America presents 24 of the 435 prints comprising the best known works of 19th century American naturalist, John James Audubon (1785-1851). The works on view in the exhibition at HMA are from the private collection of Kathy and Michael Mouron of Birmingham, Alabama and are being shown publically in this region for the first time.
“John James Audubon’s life-sized watercolors of North American birds is widely considered to be among the highest quality of wildlife illustrations,” said Christopher Madkour, Executive Director of HMA. “We are thrilled to be hosting this exhibition at the Museum and are grateful to the Mourons for sharing their extraordinary collection of Audubon paintings with us.”
To observe his subjects firsthand, Audubon traveled through much of the North American continent and recorded the appearance of birds in a variety of media. His intricately detailed illustrations are rich in observation and include song birds, waterfowl and birds of prey which are represented as life-sized and in their natural habitats.
The Mourons were drawn to Audubon’s Birds of America collection after first seeing a few pieces soon after graduating from the University of Alabama. Forty years later, Michael and Kathy spotted a piece from the collection through the open doors of Arader Galleries in Philadelphia and quickly became friends with the gallery owner, Graham Arader. After purchasing the “Wood Duck” aquatint in May 2013, the Mourons, with help from Arader, have now added 33 other pieces to their own private Audubon collection.
“With Graham’s careful guidance and counsel, I believe we have been able to secure some absolutely fabulous pieces, rich in color and with full margins and some with most interesting provenance,” said Michael Mouron. “Kathy and I are excited to share our collection with the Huntsville community and look forward to seeing Birds of America on display at the Huntsville Museum of Art.”
Seven of the aquatints in the Mouron’s collection are currently on loan to the University of Tennessee in honor of Michael’s father; however, most of the other pieces will be included in the exhibition at HMA.
On Saturday, July 22 from 6-8 p.m., the Museum Board of Directors and Mayor and Mrs. Tommy Battle will host a Preview Party to celebrate the opening of this exhibition. Guests will be able to view the collection before it opens to the public, while enjoying a reception catered by Chef Narvell and listening to live music by a string trio from the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra.
Admission to the Preview Party is $25 for Museum members and $45 for non-members. Tickets are on-sale now and may be purchased online at www.hsvmuseum.org or by calling 256-535-4350 ext. 208.
For more information about the Birds of America exhibit and to see what else is happening at the Museum, visit www.hsvmuseum.org.