237. Robert C. Vitz, “Audubon and Cincinnati,” Vol. 38, No. 2 (Autumn 2013), 2-17, 14 illus.
Robert C. Vitz gives a delightful account of John James Audubon’s early years in America when he tried various ways of supporting himself and his wife Lucy, while always pursuing his passion for birds. The Audubons arrived in Cincinnati in January 1820, drawn there by the offer of work at the Western Museum, which quickly foundered in an economic downturn. In Cincinnati, Audubon went birding with Robert Best, the museum’s curator, and showed his work to members of the Long Expedition, including Thomas Say and Titian Peale. To support his family, he taught drawing, painting, and French, and sought portrait commissions. It was from Cincinnati that Audubon embarked for New Orleans on October 12, 1820, determined to systematically paint as many birds as he could and to publish a great work that would surpass Alexander Wilson’s American Ornithology. Details are provided for two complete sets of The Birds of America associated with Cincinnati.
This article is developed from the talk presented at the Mercantile Library during the AHPCS annual meeting in Cincinnati in May 2013.
238. Laura Wasowicz, “Monkeys, Misrule, and the Birth of an American Identity in Picture Books of the Rising Republic,” Vol. 38, No. 2 (Autumn 2013), 18-31, 13 illus.
Laura Wasowicz pursues the theme of monkeys as central characters in American children’s books. Clearly distinguished from domestic animals that can be trained and become learned under human control, the monkeys are willful, untrained free agents. Selecting examples from 1798 to 1859, Wasowicz shows how the simian characters act out commentaries on human behavior. Publication of natural histories of exotic lands inhabited by monkeys and apes contributed to the initial popularity of such stories. After the publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species in 1859, the fictional roleplaying of monkeys took on added resonance. Featured illustrators include Joseph Andrews, Hugh Anderson, and Augustus Hoppin.
239. Gilbert L. Gignac, “William Hind Prints of the Labrador Peninsula,” Vol. 38, No. 2 (Autumn 2013), 32-48, 15 illus.
Gilbert L. Gignac gives a definitive, step-by-step, account of the making of a heavily illustrated, two-volume documentary work, Henry Youle Hind’s Explorations in the Interior of the Labrador Peninsula: The Country of the Montagnais and Naskapee Indians (London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts, & Green, 1863). Fortunately, many of the preliminary sketches and finished watercolors of William Hind (1833-1889), the expedition artist and brother of the author, are preserved in public collections across Canada. Likewise, pertinent production records of the Longman publishing house are preserved at the University of Reading Library, Special Collections, Records of British Publishing and Printing: The Longman Group. These business records detail the major steps and costs of the book’s production, including the wood engravings, color lithographs, and etched maps. Gignac’s account is suffused by his appreciation of the talent that both brothers brought to a life-long dedication to give a true “picture” of Canada in text and image.