Audubon print


A day to celebrate flights of fancy, or fanciful fliers. Audubon Day, established on this date of John James Audubon’s birthday, the patron saint of ornithological exposition. But it might never had been were it not for his embrace of the useless as Chet Raymo’s describes in his post ‘In Praise of the Useless

  • “John James Audubon was an economic victim of his passion for birds. In 1807 he opened a store in Louisville with his partner Ferdinand Rozier. The venture was not a success. Audubon tells us the store ‘went on prosperously when I attended to it; but birds were birds then as now, and my thoughts were ever and anon turning toward them as the objects of my greatest delight.’ Rather than attending to business, he ranged the woods with his sketchbook and ornithological journal, leaving poor Rozier to mind the store…Audubon’s wife Lucy must have often wished her husband would forget birds and settle down to something ‘useful.’ But that never happened. Audubon continued to be a failure in business until he managed to turn his hobby into a profession. In the end, his paintings of birds found a wide audience and Audubon became reasonably prosperous.”