Using the Amon Carter’s collection of American art and the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Picturing America project, explore masterworks of American art and the artists who made them while discussing how these works connect American culture and history.

This project is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

National Endowment for the Humanities Picturing America Program Participant

Artist Biography

John James Audubon (1785–1851) was born to a French naval captain in Santo Domingo (now Haiti). Raised in Nantes, France, by his father, Audubon was only eighteen when he was sent to America in 1803 to manage a family farm in Pennsylvania. Sometime around 1820 he formulated his plan to document all of the birds of America. This enterprise took him down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to Louisiana, across the South, through the Northeast, and into Labrador. He published an account of his adventures, along with his scientific notes, as an Ornithological Biography, completed in 1839. Audubon never surpassed The Birds of America, but he did produce a compendium of mammals, The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America, completed in 1848. He died at his home just north of New York City in 1851. The first Audubon Society was founded thirty-five years later.