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"Art of Ornithology," a Collaborative Exhibition from the Department of Biological Sciences (FASN), the Newark Museum, the Newark Public Library, and Dana Library, Now on View

October 7, 2015
Image of hummingbird.

Hummingbird image from Birds from The Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands (1754) by Mark Catesby and George Edwards.

The John Cotton Dana Library is currently featuring the exhibition, "Art of Ornithology: Campus Birds in Life and Illustration," until November 21st in the Lobby.  Timed to coincide with the Campus Bird Walks that take place in October, the exhibition gives a glimpse into the rich history of art and ornithology by blending books from the collections of the Newark Museum, the Newark Public Library, and the Rutgers University Libraries with photographs and data collected during the semi-annual bird walks. 

Inspired by the book, Extraordinary Birds, in the American Museum of Natural History’s series, Natural Histories, and authored by Paul Sweet, the display features illustrations of birds by artists such as John James Audubon, Alexander Wilson, and Mark Catesby.  These images were crucial to scientists in their study of birds and the environments in which they lived.  Later, in the 20th century, contemporary artists’ works were compiled in small format books that amateur birdwatchers could take with them into the field.  Identification guides are still used by birdwatchers, both in print and as apps on their phones.

The curators, Claus Holzapfel, William A. Peniston and Ann Vreeland Watkins, represent the Department of Biological Sciences, the Newark Museum, and the John Cotton Dana Library respectively.  Nadine Sergejeff, Special Collections Librarian at the Newark Public Library, and Michael Joseph of the Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries, made significant contributions. 

The exhibition is on view during all of the Library's open hours: Monday through Thursday, 8am to 12am, Friday, 8am to 7pm, Saturday, 10am to 6pm, and Sunday, 12 to 8pm.  Dana Library's address is 185 University Ave, Newark, NJ.   For directions and parking information, please go to

For more information, please contact Ann Watkins, 973 353-3809 or