Seminal wildlife artist John James Audubon’s 19th century book of life-size paintings of North American birds will be shown at the Field Museum until Dec. 1.
The illustrations in the book, “The Birds of America,” were made by etching the images into copper, printing them and then painting them by hand, according to the Field Museum. The museum’s copy of “The Birds of America” is one of only 120 known to exist today.
The massive book is 39 inches long, 26 inches wide and, when shut, about 2.5 inches thick. It takes three people to open the glass display case that houses the book, and its pages are so delicate they’re only turned once a week, according to the Field Museum.
The exhibit gives viewers a chance to look at the book and to learn about Audubon’s 12-year journey seeking out birds to paint.