The complete illustrated history of birds from their earliest origins to today, featuring 300 full-colour images drawn from the magnificent Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Wall of Birds mural.
Commissioned to celebrate the centennial of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the epic 2,500-square-foot Wall of Birds mural created by renowned artist Jane Kim over three years depicts the 375-million-year evolution of birds. It is the only mural in the world to depict representatives from all 243 families of modern birds, in addition to 27 other evolutionarily significant relatives, from the tiny five-inch Marvelous Spatuletail hummingbird to the monstrous 30-foot Yutyrannus.
Part love letter, part field guide, The Wall of Birds tells the story of these species' remarkable evolution. With a foreword by John W. Fitzpatrick, Director of the Cornell Lab or Ornithology, and full of lush photographs of the gorgeous, life-size birds painted in exacting detail, The Wall of Birds lets you explore the diversity of these amazing creatures continent by continent, and provides beautifully crafted narratives that will give readers an understanding of the evolutionary forces that created their dazzling variety of forms and colors, and give insight to how each species spread and developed across the globe.
This extraordinary compendium also offers the artist's intimate reflections on the art of science illustration, and includes unique glimpses into her artistic process, such as how she expertly mixed an avian pantone palette to create subtle highlights and lowlights for each bird.
From the Great Gray Owl to the Great Blue Heron, the Atlantic Puffin to the Lilac-breasted Roller, the Common Ostrich to the Emperor Penguin, the Splendid Fairywren to the Crimson-breasted Flowerpecker, The Wall of Birds is a visual feast, essential for bird lovers, naturalists, environmentalists, and art enthusiasts alike.
Jane Kim is a visual artist, science illustrator, and the founder of Ink Dwell, a studio that inspires people to love and protect the earth. Her art career started when she was a little girl obsessively painting flowers and bears on the walls of her bedroom. She received more formal training at Rhode Island School of Design and then Cal State Monterey Bay, where she received a mastere specializes in creating large-scale public installations, and in addition to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, she has produced works for the National Aquarium, the de Young Museum, the Nature Conservancy, the Smithsonian Instiution, Facebook, Recology, and Yosemite National Park. She is the creator of the Migrating Mural campaign, a series of public installations that highlight wildlife along migration corridors they share with people.
Thayer Walker is an author, journalist, and cofounder of Ink Dwell studio. He has served as a correspondent for Outside magazine for more than a decade, covering topics ranging from civil war to submarine exploration of the deep sea. He once survived twenty days stranded on a desert island for a story and discovered the 6.67 carat Teamwork Diamond, the tenth-largest diamond ever found at Arkansas Diamonds State Park. His work has appeared in dozens of publications including the New York Times, NPR, Men, The Atlantic, and Scientific American.
"[...] Art is contextual. As a mural, The Wall of Birds demands to be seen in person, not in the pages of a book. So where does that leave The Wall of Birds: One Planet, 243 Families, 375 Million Years? It is still well-worth having, if not strictly as an art book, then certainly to read. You will learn much about both birds and art, and the stories behind the mural and what it took to realize it are fascinating. Just don’t be surprised if you find yourself planning a trip to Ithaca, NY."
– Grant McCreary (24-01-2019), read the full review at The Birder's Library