Naturalist Audubon to be subject of symposium at AU’s Jule Collins Smith Museum

AUBURN – In a symposium that reflects one of its permanent exhibitions, Auburn University’s Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art will host “John James Audubon: Naturalism and Romanticism,” on Thursday, Nov. 8, at 2 p.m. A reception will follow.

Taylor Littleton, president of the museum’s advisory board, will open the presentation with remarks on the Louise Hauss and David Brent Miller Audubon Collection held by the Jule Collins Smith Museum.

Ashton Nichols, professor of English language and literature, Dickinson College in Carlisle, Penn., will present “The Artist as Ornithologist: Audubon and Later Romantic Natural History.” Nichols’s many books and scholarly publications cover a range of topics that include nature writing, African exploration narratives, Romantic and Victorian poetry and travel writing. He has also produced “A Romantic Natural History: 1750–1859,” a hypertext project that has been recognized for excellence by The New York Times and the BBC in London.

Gregory H. Nobles, a professor of history in the School of History, Technology, and Society at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, will follow with “Ornithological Gothic: John James Audubon and the Death of the Golden Eagle.” Nobles is working on two books: “Naturalist Nation: The Art and Science of Birds in Audubon’s America” and “Whose American Revolution Was It? Historians Interpret the Founding.”

Ron Tyler, director of the Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas, will present “John James Audubon: An American Romantic.” Tyler has written or edited more than 20 books, including “Alfred Jacob Miller: Artist as Explorer,” “Prints of the West” and “Audubon’s Great National Work: The Royal Octavo Edition of The Birds of America.”

In related programming, the American Masters Series’ “John James Audubon: Drawn from Nature” will be screened on Wednesday, Nov. 7, at noon and at 3 p.m. and on Thursday, Nov. 8, at 11 a.m. On Saturday, Nov. 10, the regularly scheduled Saturday Art Club will focus on John James Audubon and the museum’s collection of Audubon prints.

The symposium is funded in part by a grant from the F. Allen and Louise K. Turner Foundation.

Seating for the symposium is limited. Call (334) 844-3805 for reservations.

Contact: Scott Bishop, (334) 844-7014 (, or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (