Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Birds Of A Feather

Jane Kim's Birds of the World
at the Laboratory of Ornithology
Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

Following my last post ( 007 Is A Birdwatcher ) on the bird art of James Bond, I wanted to make a mention of the birds of Jane Kim.  If you are at all interested in ornithology you will probably have heard of the Laboratory of Ornithology at Cornell University. The Lab is a well known resource for information and scientific study, and they cater to a large audience interested in birds-  so people come to Ithaca from all corners of the country.

The Fuertes Library  at 
The Laboratory of Ornithology, in Sapsucker Woods

When you arrive at the Lab you can take the perimeter trail and look at the birds that gather, and you can also walk inside the building and find art treasures such as the Fuertes Library that holds some of the original art that was made for Cornell by the noted artist Louis Agassiz Fuertes in the early 20th century.  Fuertes taught at Cornell and worked for the National Geographic Magazine where he was commissioned to travel and paint what he saw of the avian world in far flung places around the globe.  Like John James Audubon before him, Fuertes was well respected for his art that caught something of the personality of his bird subjects ( if you can say that a bird has "personality" ).

Jane Kim's mural at the Lab

Jane Kim has recently completed her mural for the Lab and you see it when you walk into the main atrium of the building.  Jane has a business called InkDwell and she has been painting murals at sites such as the Lab for a number of years.  Here she has created art about the birds found in our world, along with some ancestors from early in the evolution of the bird species.

Jane's wall mural is huge, and she draws and paints complete portraits of the birds in their natural size seen against the backdrop of the continent that the bird is most associated with.  It is an impressive sight, and she is to be congratulated for her achievement.