Dec. 25 Art Minute: Roger Tory Peterson, Hummingbirds (Plate 19)

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Roger Tory Peterson (American, 1908-1996), Hummingbirds (Plate 19), for Field Guide to Mexican Birds and Adjacent Central America. Gouache, watercolor, pencil, and ink on board with overlay, 1973. 15 in. by 11 in. Mrs. George W. Stevens Funds, 2012.113. On view in the special installation Collecting Now: Recent Acquisitions, Canaday Gallery

Roger Tory Peterson (American, 1908-1996), Hummingbirds (Plate 19), for Field Guide to Mexican Birds and Adjacent Central America. Gouache, watercolor, pencil, and ink on board with overlay, 1973. 15 in. by 11 in. Mrs. George W. Stevens Funds, 2012.113. On view in the special installation Collecting Now: Recent Acquisitions, Canaday Gallery

Northwest Ohio is home to the Biggest Week in American Birding, an annual event that draws thousands from across the world to witness the spring migration of hundreds of species of birds. In celebration of this occurrence, the Toledo Museum of Art bi-annually stages an exhibition devoted to birds in art. The Museum also seeks to acquire notable art of this subject matter, such as this painting by a pioneer of the nature field guide.

Roger Tory Peterson became hooked on birdwatching in the 7th grade when his science teacher started a Junior Audubon Club. After high school. Unsure he could make a living as a naturalist, he studied art at the National academy of Design. His love of birds and his skill as an artist proved to be a winning combination. With the publication in 1934 of his groundbreaking Field Guide to the Birds and subsequent guides, Peterson became the public face of bird and nature advocacy in America.


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