Viviparous Quadrupeds Of North America | Mark Messersmith

(MAY 31, 2024 – SEPTEMBER 8, 2024)

In the early 1840’s after publishing the wildly successful Birds of America portfolio, John James Audubon set out on his second grand expedition, this time to record and draw the Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America. Audubon along with his son, John Woodhouse Audubon, produced 150 folio drawings hand-printed and hand colored by J.T. Bowen of Philadelphia – making it the first full-color plate book to be printed entirely in the United States. This exhibition presents 36 of those works highlighting everything from squirrels and rabbits to large cats and buffalo.

Additionally, we will present a focus gallery featuring the work of Mark Messersmith, whose paintings consider themes of struggle among the people, flora, and fauna for the dwindling natural resources of Florida. Over the past four decades, Messersmith has created densely packed, large-scale paintings of Florida’s untamed landscapes where black bears wade among lotuses, discarded bottles hang in trees, and herons devour their dinners under high the high contrast light of the sun and moon.

(TOP) (Lepus nuttallii), 1846, Plate XCIV, The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America, hand colored lithograph, Printed by J.T. Bowen, Philadelphia.

(BOTTOM) Mark Messersmith, End of a Dark Road, 2022.  Oil on canvas.  Courtesy of the Artist.  © Mark Messersmith