Nest, Eggs, Heartbreak & Beauty Exhibition

Joy M. Kiser Author of American's Other Audubon standing by portrait of Genevieve Estelle Jones at the reception of Nests, Eggs, Heartbreak & Beauty exhibition and book signing, Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon, ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/Kymry GroupAll Rights Reserved.

Joy M. Kiser, Author of American’s Other Audubon, standing by portrait of Genevieve Estelle Jones. Reception of Nests Eggs, Heartbreak & Beauty exhibition and book signing at the Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon on September 29, 2012. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/Kymry Group, All Rights Reserved.

The many faceted story reached a major turning point when the extraordinary book “America’s Other Audubon” (Princeton Architectural Press, May 9, 2012) became a reality for author Joy M. Kiser. She brought a group of remarkable lithographs into public view and finally tells the story of the Jones family and their unique contribution to American art. The extraordinary story told by this book was uncovered through 15 years of research. It became her personal mission as Joy felt that “This story needed to be told as this was an American Story and of great importance.”

Purple Martin Illustrated by Virginia Jones of Nests and Eggs of Birds of Ohio. Courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries, Washington DC. Nests, Eggs, Heartbreak & Beauty exhibition, opening reception and book signing, Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon on September 29, 2012.

Purple Martin Illustrated by Virginia Jones of Nests and Eggs of Birds of Ohio. Courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries, Washington DC. Nests, Eggs, Heartbreak & Beauty exhibition, opening reception and book signing, Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon on September 29, 2012.

In 1876, amateur naturalist and artist Genevieve Estelle Jones was suffering from a broken heart after her father forbade her from marrying the man she loved. Hoping to take her mind off her troubles, Genevieve’s father financed a project to provide her a distraction from heartbreak. The daughter of a country doctor, Genevieve had collected birds’ nests and eggs since childhood and had been frustrated that no reference book existed to help her identify the nests she found. Inspired by Audubon’s example, Genevieve became determined to create her own book illustrating the nests and eggs not found in Audubon’s work.

Fig 1. Arcadian Flycatcher. Fig 2. Wood Peewee. Illustrations by Eliza Schiltz of Nests and Eggs of Birds of Ohio. Courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries, Washington DC. Nests, Eggs, Heartbreak & Beauty exhibition, opening reception and book signing, Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon on September 29, 2012.

Fig 1. Arcadian Flycatcher. Fig 2. Wood Peewee. Illustrations by Eliza Schiltz of Nests and Eggs of Birds of Ohio. Courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries, Washington DC. Nests, Eggs, Heartbreak & Beauty exhibition, opening reception and book signing, Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon on September 29, 2012.

Her brother Howard helps to collect the nests and wrote the text, and she learned to draw on 65 pound lithographic stones to create the printed images (which would later be colored by hand). After completing only five illustrations, Genevieve died suddenly of typhoid fever. The grieving family determined to finish the work as a tribute to her vision carried on the monumental task with her mother, Virginia Jones, taking on the role of artist.

Field-Sparrow Nest by Virginia Jones of Nests and Eggs of Birds of Ohio. Courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries, Washington DC. Nests, Eggs, Heartbreak & Beauty exhibition, opening reception and book signing, Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon, ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/Kymry Group. All Rights Reserved.

Field-Sparrow Spizella Pusilla Nest Illustrated by Virginia Jones of Nests and Eggs of Birds of Ohio. Courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries, Washington DC. Nests, Eggs, Heartbreak & Beauty exhibition, opening reception and book signing, Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon.

In June 2012, Howard Jones (Genevieve Jones’ brother) personal copy “Illustration of the Nests and Eggs of Birds of Ohio” was re-discovered and this book was  donated to the Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon. The book included a unique gilt title page and important manuscript material. Its color plates served as templates for all the other copies. Only 90 copies were originally printed and fewer than 25 are know to exist today.

l. to r. Nina Doggett, MABA Advisory Committee Chair; Amy T. Montague, MABA Director; Joy M. Kiser, author, "America's Other Audubon." Nests, Eggs, Heartbreak & Beauty exhibition, preview reception and book signing, 9/29/2012. Museum of American Bird Art (MABA) at Mass Audubon (formerly Mass Audubon Visual Asrts Center), ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/Kymry Group. All Rights Reserved

l. to r. Nina Doggett, MABA Advisory Committee Chair; Amy T. Montague, MABA Director; Joy M. Kiser, author, “America’s Other Audubon.” Nests, Eggs, Heartbreak & Beauty exhibition, preview reception and book signing, 9/29/2012. Museum of American Bird Art (MABA) at Mass Audubon (formerly Mass Audubon Visual Asrts Center), ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/Kymry Group. All Rights Reserved.

Howard Jones’ personal copy of Illustrations of the Nests and Eggs of Birds of Ohio, Mass Audubon Collection, anonymous gift, 2012. Nests, Eggs, Heartbreak & Beauty exhibition, opening reception and book signing, Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon, ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/Kymry Group. All Rights Reserved.

Howard Jones’ personal copy of Illustrations of the Nests and Eggs of Birds of Ohio, Mass Audubon Collection, anonymous gift, 2012. Nests, Eggs, Heartbreak & Beauty exhibition, opening reception and book signing, Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon on September 29, 2012.  ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/Kymry Group. All Rights Reserved.

Now an extraordinary exhibition has been created called “Nests, Eggs, Heartbreak & Beauty” put together by the Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon ~ formerly the Mass Audubon Visual Arts Center. This was collaboration between MABA Director, Amy T. Montegue and Co-Curator, Joy M. Kiser, author of American’s Other Audubon book. This Exhibition is currently open to view through January 13, 2013.

l. to r. Julianne Mehegan, MABA curatorial volunteer and Amy T. Montague, MABA director. Nests, Eggs, Heartbreak & Beauty exhibition, opening reception and book signing, Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/Kymry Group. All Rights Reserved

l. to r. Julianne Mehegan, MABA curatorial volunteer and Amy T. Montague, MABA director. Nests, Eggs, Heartbreak & Beauty exhibition, opening reception and book signing, Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon on September 29, 2012.  ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/Kymry Group. All Rights Reserved

Nests, Eggs, Heartbreak & Beauty exhibition, opening reception and book signing, Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/Kymry Group. All Rights Reserved.

Nests, Eggs, Heartbreak & Beauty exhibition, opening reception and book signing, Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon on September 29, 2012.  ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/Kymry Group. All Rights Reserved.

Visitor with Theodore Roosevelt’s subscription parts to Illustrations of the Nests and Eggs of Birds of Ohio, Cleveland Museum of Natural History Collection. Nests, Eggs, Heartbreak & Beauty exhibition, opening reception and book signing, Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/Kymry GroupAll Rights Reserved.

Visitor with Theodore Roosevelt’s subscription parts to Illustrations of the Nests and Eggs of Birds of Ohio, Cleveland Museum of Natural History Collection. Nests, Eggs, Heartbreak & Beauty exhibition, opening reception and book signing, Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon on September 29, 2012. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/Kymry Group. All Rights Reserved.

Nests, Eggs, Heartbreak & Beauty exhibition, opening reception and book signing, Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon on 9/29/12. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/Kymry Group. All Rights Reserved

Visitors at Nests, Eggs, Heartbreak & Beauty exhibition, opening reception and book signing, Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon on September 29, 2012. ©Mardi Welch Dickinson/Kymry Group. All Rights Reserved.

Just before this exhibition opened, I had the great opportunity to interview both Amy T. Montegue, MABA Director and Joy M. Kiser, Author of American’s Other Audubon as the host on BirdCallsRadio. The book is now in the 4th printing since May 2012. For more details on the Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon, Joy M. Kiser and BirdCallsRadio Interview, please visit and click on links below.

Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon ~ 781-821-8853

Joy M. Kiser ~ America’s Other Audubon

BirdCallsRadio Interview: bcr 9-23-12 Kiser, Montague

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About Kymry

Welcome to the Kymry Blog. In this blog we will be showcasing photography by several different photographers with a Look in time from 1925 to the present. Share some Business & Technology of Photography. Including adventures in the birding world and many other interesting insights and observations along the way.
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