As often happens with creative couples throughout history, Elizabeth Gould’s legacy tends to be overshadowed by her husband’s. Gould (1804-1840) was an ambitious and knowledgeable artist, who, throughout her short lifetime, illustrated more than 600 avian species that ushered in significant advances in natural history. Many of the birds had previously gone undocumented, and paired with her husband John’s studies, the lithographs conveyed the true diversity within ornithology.
Now partially compiled in a celebratory tome of her life and work, 220 of Gould’s illustrations have migrated from the collections of London’s Natural History Museum to the page. Birds of the World: The Art of Elizabeth Gould spans 248 pages with full-color reproductions depicting myriad species, from a speckled vulturine guineafowl and chromatic crimson rosella to a slender-beaked glossy ibis. Written by the museum’s special collections manager Andrea Hart and zoology librarian Ann Datta, the volume contains several previously unpublished works and is organized across five continents.
Birds of the World, which is published by Prestel, is scheduled for release this fall. Pre-order your copy on Bookshop.
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