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Extraordinary Birds: Essays and Plates of Rare Book Selections from the American Museum of Natural History Library (Natural Histories) Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-1454906599 ISBN-10: 1454906596 Edition: Clamshell Box with Book & Art Prints

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Product Details

  • Series: Natural Histories
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling Signature; Clamshell Box with Book & Art Prints edition (October 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1454906596
  • ISBN-13: 978-1454906599
  • Product Dimensions: 12 x 9.2 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,982 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Natural Histories:
"...a truly stunning collection of rare prints covering a litany of topics. [Readers will] quickly find themselves sucked into this fantastically assembled and informative work . . . this gem of a book is one of the best in its class.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"...this collection from the AMNH is sure to please. It presents rare essays and artwork about the natural sciences along with a selection of prints for display." —TIME magazine

About the Author

Paul Sweet was born in Bristol, England and has been interested in Natural History for as long as he can remember. After completing a degree in Zoology at the University of Liverpool, he traveled extensively in the Americas and Asia for several years before working in the Raffles Museum in Singapore. In 1991 he moved to New York to work at the American Museum of Natural History where he is now the Collection Manager of the Ornithology Department, the largest bird collection in the world. During his tenure at the Museum, he has participated in many museum expeditions to countries such as Vietnam, Central African Republic, Venezuela, Argentina and the Solomon Islands.
 
Peter Capainolo is the Senior Scientific Assistant in the Department of Ornithology at AMNH and an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Biology at The City College of the City University of New York. He is the author of How Fast Can A Falcon Dive?: Fascinating Answers To Questions About Birds Of Prey published by Rutgers University Press. Capainolo lives in Long Island, NY.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By F D Steinheimer on November 20, 2013
Format: Paperback
Rarely books are produced in such a great quality anymore as the book "Extraordinary Birds": it comes in its own cardboard box, with a booklet and 40 plates in very high quality. The plates themselves are perhaps the greatest treasure of "Extraordinary Birds": the selection starting with Pierre Belon's woodcut of a White Stork from 1555 up to Wilfred Hudson Osgood's Black-bellied Bustard painted in watercolours in 1927 is well chosen and gives us one of the best arrays of bird paintings from the last four centuries. For each plate one finds a second reproduction in the booklet accompanied by one page of explanatory text and the key data to the illustration. The texts focus on the biographic and bibliographic data known for each plate, varyingly completed by information on the illustrated bird. Author Paul Sweet, Collection Manager of the Bird Department of the American Museum of Natural History in New York, has put in front of the explanatory part a brief, but quite comprehensive overview on what a bird is, what kind of studies one does in museum's and field ornithology and what has to be known on the printed bird literature. My absolute favourite is the Cloven-feathered Dove from New Caledonia, wonderfully illustrated and cut in copper by Madame Pauline Knip from Paris for a work of Coenraad Jacob Temminck from Amsterdam, published in 1811. Due to her à la poupée technique (adding the colour directly to the printing plate instead of colouring just the ready prints later) her birds show the most sumptuous colour nuances. I am sure that many will frame one or the other plate for decorating their studios.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By joen on October 30, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
“A Field Guide to the Birds” was published In 1934 – it became the genesis that converted bird watching into a multimillion dollar sport. The book was authored by Roger Tory Peterson, a bird illustrator (and a bird watcher).
“Extraordinary Birds” is a 400 year journey illustrating (pardon the pun) contributions made by bird illustrators in the support of the development of field ornithology and the study of natural history in general.
Each essay is succinct yet informative. I have been birding for over 60 years and thought I knew a lot about bird illustrators but after reading Extraordinary Birds I confess my knowledge of the field and the men who helped to grow it, especially in the early years, was next to zero. Among other things I was enlightened to read about the meeting between Wilson and Audubon, and Wilson’s possible e influence on Audubon’s decision to create his epic volume. I wondered what might have been different if that meeting never occurred.
I admit my interest centered more on the illustrators but juxtaposing the explorers with the artist completes details of each era covered.
The fine illustration of works by the early artist shows the evolution of bird art during the period covered in the book. In addition the package includes a bonus, in the form of free standing prints of the illustrations found in the book, each suitable for framing.
Extraordinary Birds is a worthy addition to the library of every bird watcher or anyone interested in the history of the development of bird art.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Belkys R Garcia on February 17, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a beautiful and thoughtful collection of prose and images. It would make an ideal gift for a lover of natural history and art.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Helaine Eisenberg on November 20, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Extraordinarily beautiful book about extraordinarily birds,. The writing is so informative and the plates are simply beautiful. This is a whole course of birding info and history packaged into one of the most elegant books I have ever seen/owned. A real gem!
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