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America's Other Audubon
Joy Kiser

ISBN 9781616890599
Publication date 5/12/2012
11 x 13 inches (27.9 x 33.0 cm), Hardcover
192 pages, 68 color illustrations, 4 b/w illustrations
Rights: World; Carton qty: 0; ( 5,567 .0)

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Nearly everyone is familar with John James Audubon and his seminal color-plate book, The Birds of America. But few people are aware of another monumental volume of artwork, Illustrations of the Nests and Eggs of Birds of Ohio. Inspired by viewing Audubon's lithographs at the 1876 World's Fair in Philadelphia, twenty-nine-year-old amateur naturalist and artist Genevieve Jones began working on a companion volume to The Birds of America, illustrating the nests and eggs that Audubon omitted. Her brother collected the nests and eggs, her father paid for the publishing, and Genevieve learned lithography and began illustrating the specimens. When Genevieve died suddenly of typhoid fever, her family labored for seven years to finish the project in her memory. The original book, sold by subscription in twenty-three parts, included Presidents Rutherford B. Hayes and Theodore Roosevelt among its subscribers. Only ninety copies of the original book were published in 1886, and fewer than twenty-five copies now remain in institutions and private hands. Featuring reproductions of all sixty-eight original color lithographs, archival photographs, selected field notes, and a key to the eggs and birds, America's Other Audubon chronicles for the first time the story behind the making of this extraordinary nineteenth century book. America's Other Audubon includes a foreword by Leslie K. Overstreet, curator of Natural-History Rare Books at the Smithsonian Institution.


Joy M. Kiser began her professional career as the librarian for the Cleveland Museum of Natural History in 1995. In 2001, she moved to the Washington, DC area to become the librarian for National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). She now works as a writer/editor for the Federal Government.

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Editorial Reviews


The Columbus Dispatch:
"One of the great triumphs of 19th century art and natural history.... The introduction by Kiser offers a poignant and abundantly fascinating snapshot of the Jones family."

Cleveland Plain Dealer:
"Exquisite."

New York Times:
"If Emily Dickinson had been an amateur naturalist and painter, she would've been Genevieve Jones, whose life and work are lovingly resurrected here. Inspired by Audubon's Birds of America, Jones, the daughter of a country doctor, sought to create a book, "Illustrations of the Nests and Eggs of Birds of Ohio," to complement his work. Jones died during the project -- at 32 from typhoid fever -- but her family finished it. Just 90 copies were made, but now a classic work of science and art, and a fascinating 19th-century life, have been returned to us."

Library Journal:
"These are exceptional and heretofore almost unknown late 19th-century color paintings of birds' nests and eggs by an obscure Ohio family. Begun by Genevieve Jones, who died young, it was eventually completed by her brother Howard, mother Virginia, and friend Eliza Schulze. This book is essentially by them, a reissue of an 1886 title of which only 90 copies were printed. Kiser, a former librarian resurrected this work and contributes a compelling introduction. The nest paintings, aside from their stunning accuracy, are works of art in their own right.... These paintings charm and delight.... Highly recommended."

Chicago Tribune:
"The lithographs in Joy M. Kiser's America's Other Audubon are works of great beauty and scientific accuracy. But behind them is a tragedy -- the story of a hugely ambitious undertaking begun in heartbreak and completed in grief."

The Columbus Dispatch:
"One of the great triumphs of 19th century art and natural history.... The introduction by Kiser offers a poignant and abundantly fascinating snapshot of the Jones family"

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