Feather and Brush
Three Centuries of Australian Bird Art
Traces the 300-year history of bird art in Australia.
Winner Scholarly Reference section - The Australian 2002 Awards for Excellence in Educational Publishing.
Feather and Brush traces the 300-year history of bird art in Australia, from the crudely illustrated records of the earliest European voyages of discovery to the diversity of artwork available today. It is a history inseparable from the development of Australian ornithology. Against a background of establishment of the country itself, naval draftsmen, convicts, officers, settlers, naturalists, artists and scientists alike contributed both to the art and to science.
Driven by the excitement of discovery and description of new and exotic birds, the illustration of Australian birds flourished in the late 18th and 19th centuries, then fell into neglect. In recent decades, increasing interest in the environment has led to a revitalisation of the art. A wealth of contemporary Australian artists has turned their attention to birds and never before has wildlife illustration been so varied and accessible.
Stunningly illustrated, Feather and Brush contains over 250 images representing 94 artists. Some are well-known, others are published for the first time. All have been carefully selected for their merit, be it ornithological, historical or artistic. The book links the greats of yesterday — including Ferdinand Bauer, Edward Lear, George Raper, John Lewin, the Goulds and the mysterious Port Jackson Painter — with some of the finest wildlife artists working in Australia today, many with an intimate knowledge of the birds in the field.
Collector’s Edition also available
The strictly limited collector’s edition of Feather and Brush consists of 375 individually hand-numbered copies, printed on chlorine free paper, case bound with cloth-covered boards. The cover is gold blocked and features an illustration of Crimson Rosellas by Richard Weatherly. Each copy is protected by an elegant cloth-covered slip-case.
"A sumptuously illustrated account of Australia's very special place in the history of the painting of birds. … Most of the ones (illustrations) Olsen has chosen are paintings that catch the birds in action and startle and amaze, as mere photographs seldom can.”
Ian Warden (The Canberra Times, 21 April 2001)
“While the whole book is superb, the section on living artists is breathtaking. … I don't think anyone will ever call these paintings and drawings 'stilted'. They positively throb with life.”
Terry Lane (The Age 26 May 2001)
“… gives a rich sampling of carefully posed illustrations from the 19th century … [and] also highlights the art and methods of 34 modern Australian bird artists, with styles ranging from highly symbolic to photographic realism.”
Jeff Hecht (New Scientist 30 June 2001)
”… a stylish publication from CSIRO Publishing.”
Kay Stewart (The Sunday Age 10 June 2001)
“… an impressive publication from both scholarly and aesthetic standpoints.”
Walter Boles, Australian Museum (Nature Australia Summer 2001-2002)
“A true treasure trove for both art-lovers and ornithological enthusiasts.”
Your Garden April 2002
“A wonderful book to dip in, this is a coffee table book in the best sense.”
Ibis 144, 2002
“An exquisite representation of the marvellous bird life we are so lucky to have in this country …”
ABC Landline 7 December 2002
Joint Review of Feather and Brush: Three Centuries of Australian Bird Art and Australia: 300 Years of Botanical Illustation
“. . . show how explorers, convicts, naval draftsmen, naturalists, scientists and artists, have shaped the history of collecting, recording and classifying Australian plants and birds. . . Using mere words, I shall not attempt to convey the beauty of the illustrations. . . great present for anyone interested in Australia's remarkable flora and fauna. And they should be in every Australian library."
Linden Gillbank, University of Melbourne (The Victorian Naturalist v.129 no.4, 2003)
- Contains more than 250 full-colour images representing 100 artists from Australia and worldwide.
- All illustrations have been carefully selected for their merit, be it ornithological, historical or artistic.
- Includes illustrations from the greats of yesterday — including Ferdinand Bauer, Edward Lear, George Raper, John Lewin, the Goulds and the mysterious Port Jackson Painter.
- The final chapter covers 34 of the finest wildlife artists working in Australia today, many with an intimate knowledge of the birds in the field.
NEW LANDS, NEW BIRDS
THE ESCAPE OF NATURAL HISTORY STUDY
STIRRINGS OF AN AUSTRALIAN SENSIBILITY
A SYNERGY OF ART AND SCIENCE
ART AND SCIENCE ESTRANGED
ILLUSTRATION FOR FIELD IDENTIFICATION
ART AND SCIENCE REGROUP
THE CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS