Rare and Wondrous: Birds in Art and Culture, 1620–1820 examines exotic birds as a nexus for the interrelationships among natural history, expanded European colonization and trade (including the Atlantic slave trade), and visual art and material culture in Europe during the period encompassing the Age of Contact and the Enlightenment. Through paintings, prints, books, and decorative arts from the Toledo Museum of Art’s collection and loans from other institutions, Rare and Wondrous explores the ways these birds became the objects of scientific inquiry, of popular interest, of status, and even of household decoration and personal adornment, and reveals the often complicated histories and consequences of their encounters with European culture.
Published in conjunction with the exhibition Rare and Wondrous: Birds in Art and Culture, 1620–1820, exclusively at the Toledo Museum of Art, April 24–July 25, 2021.
Written by Paula Reich, Manager of Gallery Interpretation and Learning at the Toledo Museum of Art.
Softcover. 9 1/4 x 6 3/4 inches, 94 pages.
Published by the Toledo Museum of Art. © 2021 Toledo Museum of Art