Horned Grebe

Horned Grebe

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Robert Havell Jr. engraved this copper plate in 1835 for John James Audubon's publication, the 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 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
plate, printing
Object Type
printing plates
Other Terms
plate; Engraving; Etching
Date made
Havell, Jr., Robert
Audubon, John James
original artist
Audubon, John James
graphic artist
Havell, Jr., Robert
place made
United Kingdom: England, London
Physical Description
copper (overall material)
overall: 38.3 cm x 53.5 cm; 15 1/16 in x 21 1/16 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of W. E. Dodge, Jr.
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Work and Industry: Graphic Arts
Natural Resources
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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