Birds, Beasts & Artists

So very little was known about America. The same year Lewis and Clark returned from the West, John James Audubon began sketching dead birds propped up by wire armatures. President Thomas Jefferson imagined Lewis and Clark would encounter living, breathing specimens of the Mastodon as he sent them across the Great Plains to the Pacific. Of course, other than Bison, no mammals of mass destruction were found, but the expedition did return with evidence of 300 previously unknown plants and animals. And the North American Continent was still new to the eyes of the artist. [Read more...]

Joel Rose, Producer and Editor
Viet Le, Rachael Berenguer and Jennifer Lynn, Associate Producers
Elisabeth Perez-Luna, Executive Producer
Kenneth Finkel, Executive Director, Arts & Culture Service

Funding was provided by The William Penn Foundation.

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Marking Pennsylvania History

ExplorePAHistory.comMill Grove and John James Audubon
John James Audubon wasn't the first painter to catalogue the birds of North America. But it was Audubon who changed the way we look at birds -- and by extension, the natural world. WHYY's Joel Rose visits Mill Grove, the Montgomery County estate where Audubon first painted the birds of his adopted country. [Listen]

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