Watch September program videos and be sure to join us for WCAS Book of the Month presentations and discussions. You'll meet intriguing authors and connect with a community of learners reflecting on nature and human interaction.
Author Speaker and Discussion Series September 2020
Amateur artist Genevieve Jones, the daughter of a country doctor from Circleville, Ohio, was given permission to undertake an expensive book production project after a broken engagement. Sold through subscription with illustrations colored by hand and issued in parts, as Audubon’s, "Birds of America" had been, Genevieve’s book, "The Illustrations of the Nests and Eggs" was initiated in 1879 and completed in 1886.
But only one month after the first part, which was composed of the lithographs of the nests and eggs of the Baltimore oriole, the wood thrush, and the black-billed cuckoo, was issued and received rave reviews from the ornithological community, Genevieve died of typhoid fever.
Her grieving family then invested 7 years of their own lives into completing her work. Her brother, Howard, collected the specimens and wrote the field notes; her mother, Virginia, took over drawing the illustrations and superintending the colorists; and her father, Nelson, lost all his retirement savings ($25,000) in this venture into self-publishing, but Genevieve’s book was awarded a bronze medal in the World's Columbian Exposition (all of the medals were bronze) and is considered one of the rarest ornithological works today.
"America’s Other Audubon" provided a brief history of the Jones family’s project and reproduced all the original art work for the first time. Today, a book may be created or purchased by the click of a computer mouse. The degree of effort the production of a book required over 100 years ago has been largely forgotten.
Author Joy Kiser, has been tracking down primary sources related to the Jones family’s venture into self-publishing for over 20 years and will share details of her research that lead to the publication of "America’s Other Audubon".
Jonathan Rosen, author of The Life of the Skies: Birding at the End of Nature wrote, "If Audubon -- who had plenty of help, but who lives in the mind as a solitary inventor -- is the Robinson Crusoe of nature art, then the Joneses are the Swiss Family Robinson. "America's Other Audubon" is a vital work of scholarly reclamation that will, I hope, introduce a wide world to the remarkable Genevieve Jones and the familial collaboration her life and death inspired."
Author Speaker and Discussion Series September 2020
This lovely program begins with a conversation about September's first Book Club meeting (Sun Sept 20, 2020) featuring presenter Joy Kiser, author of "America's Other Audubon".
The program proceeds with a summary of the inspiring book, "A Sand County Almanac" by Aldo Leopold. Leopold spent his life thinking about how everything fits together from a scientific and philosophical perspective. And further, how business, economics, and society interact with nature. Leopold is considered the 'father of ecology' - how everything is connected and constantly interacting. Nancy reads the chapter, “Odyssey”.
Drina shares "Oranges" by John McPhee and "House of Light" by Mary Oliver.
Michelle contributes a summary of "The Life and Death of the Great Lakes" by Dan Egan including a cliff hanger(!)from the book.
Gloria closes the program with her introduction and short reading from, "A Year in the Woods" by Henry David Thoreau (Author), and Giovanni Manna (Illustrator)an illustrated collection of quotes from "Walden: A Year in the Woods" by Henry David Thoreau.
Gloria concludes the program by summarizing the effects of man as the common denominator in the interconnectedness of the books discussed. From how environmental stewards are beginning to understand the benefits of removing dams on the Cuyahoga River, how thinking orange concentrate would be thought superior to natural orange juice, and finally to how ecological changes in the Great Lakes and the shift to sell water as if an industrial commodity are just some of today's stark realities readers faced yet within a hopeful context.
The Feathered Flyer blog publishes human interest stories about birding and habitat conservation.
After watching, ‘My Painted Trillium Quest' by Tom Fishburn, Kim Langley, WCAS Member said, “Wonderful! It was a lift just knowing that such a site exists and is being protected!”
Visit the Western Cuyahoga Audubon Virtual Conference Center for a listing of chapter events.
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