Audubon,€™s Fifty Best Watercolors
The New-York Historical Society Edition
In 1863, Lucy Audubon sold the core collection of Audubon material still in the family,€™s possession to the New-York Historical Society, New York,€™s first museum. The collection was formidable. In addition to artifacts and family memorabilia, it included the most important comprehensive collection of one of the greatest nineteenth-century American artists, 471 of John James Audubon,€™s original watercolors, of which 435 were preparatory for The Birds of America.
The New-York Historical Society and Oppenheimer Editions have an exclusive agreement to publish 200 numbered actual-size sets, a first and special edition to be known as The New-York Historical Society Edition of Audubon,€™s Fifty Best Watercolors. The prints in The New-York Historical Society Edition are re-creations of the watercolors that Audubon made prior to publication of the double elephant folio Havell engravings of The Birds of America.
Printed with archival pigments on 100% rag watercolor paper, these prints directly capture the artist,€™s hand and fundamental vision, unlike any publication before. Each image is individually sized to match the exact dimensions of the original painting. This is an actual-size first edition printing of Audubon,€™s watercolors and will assume an important position among the collectible editions of Audubon,€™s work. In addition to this being an actual-size first edition printing, there are four images among the 50 that are presented in this edition that have never before been published as works of art.
Audubon,€™s Fifty Best Watercolors offers collectors a unique opportunity to own a virtual replica in printed form of one of these historic originals. The New-York Historical Society Edition of Audubon,€™s watercolors is limited to 200 sets, which coincides with the same number of folios that Audubon produced for the Havell Edition of hand-colored engravings.