Horned Grebe

Robert Havell Jr.'s 1835 engraving for John James Audubon's publication the Birds of America, was published in Britain between 1827 and 1838 as a series of large folio engravings. The Museum's Graphic Arts Collection includes seven of the original copper plates and prints from several editions of the work.
The Birds of America was published in several formats. The first large folio edition was intended for wealthy patrons or institutions. Later editions, produced in the United States for a more general audience, included text and smaller, less costly lithographic illustrations.
Audubon introduced new species and new artistic forms. His dramatic images of birds, pictured life-size in animated poses with realistic backgrounds, represented a departure from the conventions of natural history illustration. His artistic ingenuity, as reproduced in engravings and lithographs, won new audiences for the subject of nature study, eventually leading to the organization of Audubon societies.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Object Type
Date made
Havell, Jr., Robert
Audubon, John James
original artist
Audubon, John James
graphic artist
Havell, Jr., Robert
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
ink (overall material)
overall: 64.4 cm x 96.8 cm; 25 3/8 in x 38 1/8 in
place made
United Kingdom: England, London
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Natural Resources
National Treasures exhibit
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Graphic Arts
National Treasures exhibit
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Related Publication
Kendrick, Kathleen M. and Peter C. Liebhold. Smithsonian Treasures of American History
Publication title
Treasures of American History online exhibition
Publication author
National Museum of American History
Publication URL

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