Larry and Debby Kline artists and provocateurs – installation, performances, and other works

Project Extinction: J.J. Audubon’s Birds of America

Project Extinction is a series of drawings updating John Audubon‘s Birds of America.  We are documenting the species that have since gone extinct since it’s publication, a continuation of a project that we started when we were artists in residence at the San Diego Museum of Natural History.  The museum has a copy of the Birds of America, a special edition known as the Double Elephant Folio, considered among the world’s rarest and most valuable books.  It was the inspiration for this project and a thrill to work with.  Our revision of this tome engages audiences on issues of climate and habitat change and other instances of human intervention in the environment.


So far, we have completed five drawings, the Carolina Parakeet, Great Auk, Esquimaux Curlew, Passenger Pigeon and Pied Duck (aka Labrador Duck).


Each bird has its own dark history and particular reasons for extinction.  In many cases, the death of the final known example of the species is well documented.  Some of these stories are incorporated into the drawings, including toe tags with accession #s, so that viewers can find the original specimens in the museum collection.  Each drawing is approximately 30” x 40“, and meticulously drawn in the style of the original Audubon engravings with our twists on their revised histories.  The line drawings will eventually be hand-colored.

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