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DVOC Field Trip Report
by Jeff Holt

March 11, 2007
MILL GROVE AND THE JOHN JAMES AUDUBON CENTER, PENNSYLVANIA

Sunday, March 11 saw 9 DVOC members and 2 guests enjoy the John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove. After touring the museum and viewing examples of Audubon's signature works that were on display, the trip particpiants were treated to some of the rarities housed in the Mill Grove collection. Through the genrosity of curators Nancy Powell and Linda Boice, we were able to examine an original letter authored by Audubon in 1838, an experimental lithograph produced in 1832 in Philadelphia and an artist proof of the Wood Thrush, containing notations by Audubon directed to the colorists on how the final prints were to look. In addition, we were able to browse through a rare first edition copy of John Cassin's (as in Cassinia) "Illustrations of the Birds of California, Texas, Oregon, British & Russian America" published in 1856.

The highlight of the trip was when the display case holding Volume 2 of the double elephant folio edition "Birds of America" was opened and we were allowed to closely examine two extraordinarily rare composite prints. Thirteen
different composite prints were created at Auduon's request at the end of the project in order to correct earlier errors. It is believed that only 6 of each composite print were produced and Mill Grove is one of only a handful of institutions which owns one or more of these unique prints. Following our tour of the museum, we wandered the trails around the Mill Grove property and then enjoyed a post-trip visit to the Sly Fox Brewpub in Phoenixville.