Whooping Crane, Grus Americana

Robert Havell Jr. engraved this copper plate in 1834 for John James Audubon's publication, Birds of America, 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 a number of editions of the work.
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
plate, printing
Object Type
Date made
Audubon, John James
Havell, Jr., Robert
graphic artist
Havell, Jr., Robert
original artist
Audubon, John James
Physical Description
metal, steel-faced (overall material)
copper (overall material)
overall: 39 1/4 in x 26 1/8 in; 99.695 cm x 66.3575 cm
place made
United Kingdom: England, London
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Natural Resources
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Graphic Arts
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Approved comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about your own artifacts or comment on their value, rarity, or collectibility.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.