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The Art of Migration: Birds, Insects, and the Changing Seasons in Chicagoland Hardcover – July 1, 2013


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The Art of Migration: Birds, Insects, and the Changing Seasons in Chicagoland + Architecture by Birds and Insects: A Natural Art
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press (July 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 022604629X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226046297
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.1 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #382,863 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Most insect and bird field guides require you to encounter a species first and then wade through pages, hoping to identify whatever you encountered. In The Art of Migration, you learn about the species and when you can expect to encounter them. With that information, you are inspired to step outside and locate that yellow-rumped warbler or dog-day cicada. It is refreshing reading something that’s science-based, beautiful, and fun.”
(Tom Clay, Executive Director, Illinois Audubon Society)

“Peggy Macnamara's wonderful talent as an artist and deep understanding of science enable her to deftly capture the natural world through her watercolors. This is an extraordinary volume capping Peggy's insight into migratory patterns, the Chicago natural area, and seasonal change. It should be required reading for everyone concerned about our natural habitat and about the miraculous combination of senses that enable bird migration.”
(John W. McCarter Jr., president and CEO of the Field Museum)

"The Art of Migration is no dry field guide or academic reference. Rather, it is a little treasure, beautiful to look at and enjoyable to read." 
(Chicago Book Review)

"Macnamara's paintings blend scenes of birds and insects in flight with more representational images. The transparent nature of watercolors allows her to offer context for bird migration; a map of South America or the Chicago skyline may appear layered in the background. This is not a field guide but a conversational collection of impressions." 
(Chicago Tribune)

"In lovely, brightly colored watercolors in The Art of Migration, Macnamara reminds us that even in one of the most heavily developed areas of the United States, you can still find dog-day cicadas, banded woolly-bears, kinglets, nighthawks, Snowy Owls, and countless other beautiful and wild creatures. Thank goodness."
(Birdwatching)

"This is an exceptional book. Peggy Macnamara’s drawings are studies of the subject with the background often sketched in in an ethereal manner making the whole subject come alive—birds, butterflies, and other insects. . . . This work is certainly one that you will use and admire."
(Current Books on Gardening and Botany)

About the Author

Peggy Macnamara has been the artist in residence at the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, for the past twenty-five years. She is also associate professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the author of Painting Wildlife in Watercolor, Illinois Insects and Spiders, and Architecture by Birds and Insects, the latter two also published by the University of Chicago Press.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Walsh on September 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover
It is hard to pinpoint an audience for this wonderful book. Nature artists will get great instruction and ideas from a skilled artist who comments on each water color painting with specific tips that include details such as paper weight, how to paint texture and feathers, how to select backgrounds for the subjects, and so much more; on the other hand, ardent "birders" - bird watchers - will find the commentary by the the experts from the Field Museum to be insightful and informative. If you love butterflies or find insects interesting, this book will also be appealing to you.

The real subject of the book, migration, is what captured my imagination but I have awe for the amazing birds that migrate - and many die in the process - from long distances between summer and winter homes. Lovers of art and nature with no particular expertise in either will be drawn into the world of the artist and run to their computers to find out more about Peggy MacNamara and where they can go to see her work (and maybe buy it) or receive instruction from the painter herself.

The book itself is a piece of art, much smaller than I thought it would be - I did not look at the measurements as I got the book from the library. But these are exquisite works of art, shown on one page with the artist's commentary about the art of painting each particular illustration, and on the next page, a smaller version of the work with tiny numbers corresponding to the descriptions given of the birds and insects. "Tiny" numbers is my only complaint about the book: my senior citizen eyes required great concentration to find the numbers. The print was also small, but that made for a more "artistic" book with the addition of white space. If you can't get out to go birding, this will be a great alternative.

I have heard this artist speak and have seen her full-sized original works and they are as magnificent in the original as they are in this book. I will buy the book.
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By karen on February 3, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
beautiful illustrations, note: geared specifically central US seasonal bird and insect behavior
would love to see an Eastern US version
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By Laurel S. Taylor on January 20, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fantastic water colors and especially loved the Artist's Notes. Text on the birds is very well done! Get this book.
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By Frances M. Mulvey on September 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We gave this book to a Professor of Birds. He thought it was excellent. The colors and illustrations were right on target.
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