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A Birder’s Eye View | Art at the Getty

September 11, 2021

[Posted by Chuck Almdale]

Cindy Hardin is one of SMBAS’s long-term members. She’s very active in nature education for schoolchildren and has managed the Environmental Education Program at Ballona for over a decade. She writes for various blogs, such as “What if we had a field trip and nobody could attend?,” a problem all active birders now worry about. Her 2013 article on The Tongva, co-written with Jane Beseda, is perennially one of the top five postings on our SMBAS blog and seems to be the schoolchildren’s Google go-to article on our local First Americans.

Recently she was interviewed by Erin Migdol for the Getty Museum blog.

A Birdwatcher’s Eye View
Seeing the feathered members of our collection through an expert’s eyes
The Getty Museum | Erin Migdol | 9 Sep 2021 | 4 min read

Detail from Verdure with Château and Garden, 1738–1778, Katharine Ghuys, the Widow Guillaume Werniers. Wool and silk; modern linen lining and polyester dust band, 106 11/16 × 105 13/16 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2005.17

From the article:

As artistic styles and attitudes towards nature have evolved, so have works of art that depict birds—from medieval manuscripts featuring imaginary winged creatures to photographs that take a scientist’s eye to a variety of avian species.

But how would a birdwatcher—someone who observes birds in the wild and is intimately familiar with their true personalities and habitats—react to artists’ representations of birds?

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