Article ID: CBB716257904

The limits of imperial influence: John James Audubon in British North America (2020)

unapi

For two decades, John James Audubon (1785–1851) travelled widely and frequently while working on his illustrated natural history volumes – still highly prized today for their aesthetic and scientific merit: Birds of America (1827–1838) and Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America (1846–1854). Neither independently wealthy nor employed as a salaried scientist, the artist-naturalist with a flair for marketing financed his projects by selling subscriptions. Successfully marketing Birds to members of the British aristocracy, as well as to organizations and to artistic and intellectual elites, Audubon was reluctant to take Quadrupeds to Britain even though sales there were key to the financial viability of his work. Instead, in 1842 Audubon travelled to Canada (now Ontario and Quebec), the most populous region of British North America. The colony was, he calculated, a viable source of subscribers; however, he was wrong. Moreover, having travelled to British North America previously, he should have expected modest returns. Nonetheless, he was optimistic that this expedition would succeed where those to New Brunswick (1832) and Labrador and Newfoundland (1833) had failed. This paper examines why success eluded Audubon in the colonies, arguing that entrepreneurialism buttressed by patronage – a winning strategy in Britain – failed because there was a vast difference between metropolis and hinterland when it came to supporting the arts and sciences.

...More
Citation URI
https://data.isiscb.org/isis/citation/CBB716257904/

Similar Citations

Book Christoph Irmscher; Richard J. King; Subhankar Banerjee; (2022)
Audubon at Sea: The Coastal and Transatlantic Adventures of John James Audubon (/isis/citation/CBB337949965/)

Article Greer, Kirsten A.; (2008)
Placing Colonial Ornithology: Imperial Ambiguities in Upper Canada, 1791--1841 (/isis/citation/CBB001211517/)

Book Russell, Peter A.; (2012)
How Agriculture Made Canada: Farming in the Nineteenth Century (/isis/citation/CBB001421803/)

Article Restrepo, Guillermo; Villaveces, José L.; (2013)
Discrete Mathematical Chemistry: Social Aspects of its Emergence and Reception (/isis/citation/CBB001320763/)

Article Crosland, Maurice; (2010)
Pensions for “Cultivators of Science” (/isis/citation/CBB001031489/)

Book Rhodes, Richard; (2004)
John James Audubon: The Making of an American (/isis/citation/CBB000650396/)

Essay Review Baker, Jennifer J.; (2006)
The Making of John James Audubon (/isis/citation/CBB001566400/)

Book Souder, William; (2004)
Under a Wild Sky: John James Audubon and the Making of the Birds of America (/isis/citation/CBB000470066/)

Book Chalmers, J.; (2003)
Audubon in Edinburgh: The Scottish Associates of John James Audubon (/isis/citation/CBB000530199/)

Book Durant, Mary B.; Harwood, Michael; (1980)
On the road with John James Audubon (/isis/citation/CBB000007975/)

Article Peter B. Logan; Martin A. Sidor; (2021)
John James Audubon's Overlooked “Great Work”: His Ornithological Biography (/isis/citation/CBB976769881/)

Chapter Armstrong, James W.; (1997)
Audubon's Ornithological biography and the question of “other minds” (/isis/citation/CBB000072416/)

Book Shuler, Jay; (1995)
Had I the wings: The friendship of Bachman and Audubon (/isis/citation/CBB000039005/)

Book Heitman, Danny; (2008)
A Summer of Birds: John James Audubon at Oakley House (/isis/citation/CBB000831285/)

Essay Review Faherty, Duncan; (2005)
“Half Artist, Half Man of Action”: John James Audubon and The Birds of America (/isis/citation/CBB001566465/)

Book Foshay, Ella M.; (1997)
John James Audubon (/isis/citation/CBB000074390/)

Article Partridge, Linda Dugan; (1998)
By the book: Audubon and the tradition of ornithological illustration (/isis/citation/CBB000076435/)

Authors & Contributors
Martin A. Sidor
Peter B. Logan
Subhankar Banerjee
Russell, Peter A.
Villaveces, José L.
Souder, William
Journals
William and Mary Quarterly
Scientia Canadensis: Journal of the History of Canadian Science, Technology, and Medicine
Reviews in American History
Hyle
Huntington Library Quarterly
Archives of Natural History
Publishers
McGill-Queen's University Press
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
University of Georgia Press
University of Chicago Press
North Point/FSG
NMS Publishing
Concepts
Ornithology
Biographies
Natural history
Science and art
Science and society
Funding and finance
People
Audubon, John James
MacGillivray, William
Klein, Felix
Bachman, John
Time Periods
19th century
18th century
20th century, late
20th century, early
Places
Canada
Québec (Canada)
Ontario (Canada)
United States
Edinburgh (Scotland)
Philadelphia, PA
Institutions
National Audubon Society
Comments

Be the first to comment!

{{ comment.created_by.username }} on {{ comment.created_on | date:'medium' }}

Log in or register to comment