Buller's Birds: The art of Keulemans and Buchanan  

When:
Exhibition now closed 30 Aug 2012  27 Jan 2013
Where:
Cost:
Type:
Nature; Arts 

Laughing owl (Whekau) (Spiloglaux Novae Zealandiae/ Sceloglaux albifacies). 1872, Keulemans, J. G. (1842–1912), London. Acquisition history unknown. Te Papa
Laughing owl (Whekau) (Spiloglaux Novae Zealandiae/ Sceloglaux albifacies). 1872, Keulemans, J. G. (1842–1912), London. Acquisition history unknown. Te Papa

See the exquisite illustrations that brought Walter Buller’s iconic books to life, alongside bird skins and specimens from the Victorian ornithologist’s extraordinary collection.

A History of the Birds of New Zealand, published in 1872–73, is the most famous book on New Zealand native birds. It brought together the knowledge and passion of ornithologist Buller with the exceptional talent of Dutch artist J G Keulemans. A second edition was published in 1888.

A cheaper edition, The Manual of the Birds of New Zealand (1882), included finely detailed wood engravings by artist and botanist John Buchanan.

This exhibition showcases the illustrations that Keulemans and Buchanan produced for Buller's series of books. It also includes specimens from Buller's collection. There are bird skins, together with wood engravings that Buchanan made from drawings of the skins, and mounted birds, including a pair of highly prized and now-extinct huia.

The exhibition coincides with a new publication from Te Papa Press, Buller's Birds of New Zealand: The complete work of JG Keulemans, available from October 2012.

See works by J G Keulemans in Collections Online
See works by John Buchanan in Collections Online