As the arboretum enters the fall celebration of its 50th year and the Jule Collins Smith Museum its 10th, an exhibition from JCSM’s Louise Hauss and David Brent Miller Audubon Collection will return the prints from their much needed year-long rest to the galleries that bear the collection’s name. This exhibition focuses on native plants represented in The Birds of America, which are present in Auburn University’s Donald E. Davis Arboretum.
While JCSM prepared for Audubon in the Arboretum, the arboretum constructed a new walking path that leads visitors through a living exhibition of the plants represented in Audubon’s prints. Audubon often chose the most spectacular plants in the birds’ environments on which to situate them. The native plants pictured in the prints feature some of the Southeast’s most beautiful blooms – the southern magnolia, the dogwood, cross vine and trumpet vine, yellow jasmine, oak leaf hydrangea – as well as stately trees—oaks, tulip poplars, the sycamore. These plants are not mere backdrop to the bird portraits; rather they are as in nature, part and parcel of the rich environment Audubon closely observed.
Audubon in the Arboretum will remain permanently in place, but we hope that while the print exhibition is on view through December 14, 2013, visitors will take the time to also visit the JCSM located a half a mile south of the arboretum.
Audubon in the Arboretum: A Field Guide can be purchased at the JCSM or the arboretum.