Finding aid to the Documents Relating to John Woodhouse Audubon Drawings at the Southwest Museum MS.625

Finding aid prepared by Eloise Nelson and Anna Liza Posas
Autry National Center, Braun Research Library
234 Museum Drive
Los Angeles, CA, 90065-5030
323-221-2164
rroom@theautry.org
2012


Title: Documents Relating to John Woodhouse Audubon Drawings at the Southwest Museum
Identifier/Call Number: MS.625
Contributing Institution: Autry National Center, Braun Research Library
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 0.1 Linear feet 1 folder
Date (inclusive): 1906-1953
Abstract: Collection consists of documents related to the 34 John Woodhouse pencil sketches donated to the Southwest Museum by Maria R. Audubon through Eva Scott Fenyes, 1912 May 14. The materials date from 1906 to 1953. John Woodhouse Audubon (born 1812 in Henderson, Kentucky, died 1862) was an American painter and the son of renowned ornithologist and wildlife artist John James Audubon. John Woodhouse devoted his entire career to continuing and supporting the work of his father. The sketches were drawn during John Woodhouse Audubon's overland journey trip from New York to California, 1849-1850.
creator: Alliot, Hector, 1862-1919
creator: Audubon, Maria Rebecca, 1843-1925
creator: Comstock, John A.
creator: Hodge, Frederick Webb, 1864-1956

Scope and contents

This collections consists of documents related to the 34 John Woodhouse pencil sketches donated to the Southwest Museum by Maria Rebecca Audubon through Eva Scott Fenyes, 1912 May 14. Maria was the daughter of John Woodhouse Audubon.
Included is a letter from Maria R. Audubon to Hector Alliot, 1912 May 14; typed carbon copy letter from Frederick Webb Hodge, Southwest Museum Director to John A. Comstock from the Los Angeles Museum, 1935 September 26; Works Progress Administration "art object form", 1924 March 5; newspaper clipping from The Dial, 1906 September 1; and one issue of the Los Angeles Corral of Westerners journal The Branding Iron, 1953 September.

Access

Collection is open for research. Appointments to view materials are required. To make an appointment please visit http://theautry.org/research/research-rules-and-application or contact library staff at rroom@theautry.org.

Preferred citation

Documents Relating to John Woodhouse Audubon Drawings,1906-1953, Braun Research Library Collection, Autry National Center, Los Angeles; MS.625.

Historical note

The 34 pencil sketches held in the Southwest Museum were drawn during John Woodhouse Audubon's overland journey trip from New York to California, 1849-1850. Audubon returned to New York in 1850. He left 200 other sketches of his western journey in Sacramento with his closest friend John Stevens. Stevens and the sketches were lost at sea when returning to New York on the SS Central America.

Biographical note

John Woodhouse Audubon (born 1812 in Henderson, Kentucky, died 1862) was an American painter and the son of renowned ornithologist and wildlife artist John James Audubon. John Woodhouse devoted his entire career to continuing and supporting the work of his father. He assisted in the completion of original works and the execution and distribution of lithographs. After the completion of the Double Elephant Bird Portfolio, John James and John Woodhouse embarked on a similar venture, The Quadrapeds of North America, which set out to document America's mammalian inhabitants. By the late 1830s, John James Audubon showed signs of mental illness and could no longer continue painting with much accuracy. John Woodhouse continued the series, eventually completing at least half of the work.
Because of the difficulty of safely studying wild animals, both Audubons often sketched caged or dead animals, causing some of their renderings to appear primitive and sinister. Artists also used explorers' written accounts of their wildlife experiences and observations on the frontier to aid in the completion of the wildlife paintings. Although John Woodhouse Audubon's artistic career has been overshadowed by his father's success, his contribution to early wildlife documentation is significant.
Audubon's work is recognized in many private collections and museums, including the National Gallery of Art, the National Portrait Gallery, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Mill Grove Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary, and the National Museum of Wildlife Art.
Reference:
National Museum of Wildlife Art (2011). John Woodhouse Audubon biography. Retrieved from http://www.wildlifeart.org/artists

Acquisition

Deposited by the Southwest Museum staff to the Library after 1953.

Processing history

Biographical note created by Maritxu de Alaiza, 2012 September. Finding aid completed by Anna Liza Posas, 2012 October 18. Final processing of collection and publication of finding aid made possible by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Use

Copyright has not been assigned to the Autry National Center. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Autry Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Autry National Center as the custodian of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Audubon, John James, 1785-1851
Audubon, John Woodhouse, 1812-1862 -- Pictorial works
Artists -- United States
Branding Iron (Journal)
Clippings
Correspondence
Ornithologists