Audubon, Van Gogh and James Bond's Uncle
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)
When artists painted portraits of birds before the advent of color photography, they had to paint from life. Thus ...
When John James Audubon created his landmark "Birds of America," he used stuffed birds as models.
When Vincent Van Gogh painted "Kingfisher by the Waterside" in 1887, he used a stuffed kingfisher as a model as well (see photo below, from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam).
And when Carroll Sargent Tyson Jr. -- James Bond's uncle -- did his splendid series of fine-arts prints of "Birds of Mt. Desert Island," he likely had to use collected birds as well, collected by none other than Bond himself.
You can read more about the prints in my book.
More on "The Kingfisher" from Amsterdam's Van Gogh Museum's Facebook page here.
and a museum webpage here.
I loved your story. I heard similar stories when I was on MDI researching my book. I hope to give a few talks on MDI in early June 2021. Quite a bit about Bond on MDI in the book.
Look for an upcoming post -- more about MDI and kingfishers!
Posted by: Jim Wright | 07/12/2020 at 11:46 AM
My grandmother lived with us in Bar Harbor in her later years. She studied birds her whole life. One day after school in 1962 I was in the kitchen and the doorbell rang. I went to the door and when I opened it there was a man standing there in khakis, like he'd been on safari. He asked for my grandmother and I asked him who was calling. He said James Bond.
My grandmother said show him in.
He spent a couple of hours with her talking about birds and when he left she told me a out the Ian Fleming connection.
Posted by: Peter Anthony | 07/12/2020 at 01:54 AM