In the 1830s, as renowned naturalist and artist John James Audubon (1785-1851) was completing the final plates for his monumental Birds of America series, he and his sons began to gather material for his second and equally ambitious undertaking. Planning to complete the definitive study of American wildlife, Audubon set out to document the animals of North America, and to present them in a format as impressive as he had used for his birds. The result of his years of field research, travel, and seemingly endless study was the Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America, the 19th century’s seminal work on American animals.
John James Audubon: The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America presents 36 original large-format Audubon prints from the collection of Mr. & Mrs. William H. Told, Jr. of New York and Palm Beach. The Tolds collected these prints for nearly four decades, having received their first — a marmot — as a gift. They appreciated the scientifically accurate animal subjects (some of which are now extinct) as well as the beautifully detailed backgrounds that often included native foliage and other naturalistic details. The Tolds have graciously donated their impressive collection to the Huntsville Museum of Art.