Audubon’s Fifty Best Birds

Birds of America

The Oppenheimer Field Museum Edition of Audubon’s Fifty Best is the first facsimile edition to accurately replicate the quality of the first Audubon edition of Birds of America completed in the 1830’s. This publication achieves an esthetic quality that we can endorse as comparable to the originals. This remarkable similarity to the hand-colored Havell engravings cannot be overstated.

State-of-the-art digital imaging and printing are being utilized to create the full-sized double elephant folio prints. Conventional photography and film are not used in this process; scanning is done directly from the original engraving in The Field Museum folio. As many as ten proofing stages are involved before a finished print is accepted. Nothing has been spared in the production of this edition which will take two years and nearly a million dollars in printing costs alone, to complete.

Joel Oppenheimer, President of Kenyon Oppenheimer, Inc. says:

“Timing is everything. There are several important reasons why this was the perfect time in history to remake Audubon’s Birds of America. When I first approached Ben Williams, Field Museum Librarian, with the idea of publishing Audubon¹s Fifty Best© from the world famous Field Museum folio, he agreed with three stipulations. One, that we utilize state-of-the-art Giclée digital printing; two, that the number produced be strictly limited; and three, that there be no compromise that would, in any way, inhibit the quality of the prints. Heretofore, this technique was not possible, and the most prized possession of the museum rare book library would not have been made available for such a purpose.

 

“The Oppenheimer Field Museum Edition of Audubon¹s Fifty Best© is the first facsimile edition to accurately replicate the quality of the first Audubon edition of Birds of America completed in the 1830s.This publication achieves an esthetic quality that we can endorse as comparable to the originals. The remarkable similarity to the hand-colored Havell engravings cannot be overstated.

 

“Each print is on Somerset velvet, an acid-free, cotton, and rag watercolor paper imported from England. The bottom right corner bears the Oppenheimer Editions¹ embossed stamp. The verso of each print is stamped, numbered and signed by The Field Museum Librarian.”

Audubon House Gallery of Natural History is the official representative of Oppenheimer Editions, LLC in the Florida area. Prices range from $1,500 to $9,000 per print. Complete sets of Audubon’s Fifty Best are currently $47,500.

View the images in the Fifty Best Birds Gallery.