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Canton bird art museum's new show to feature owls

Posted by Dave Eisenstadter  January 10, 2013 05:32 PM

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The newly renamed Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon is about to open its next exhibition – “Only Owls.”

“There’s probably 35 different artists represented all using owls as their inspiration,” said Arts Center Property Manager Steven Landry on Thursday.

The exhibition. which opens at the Canton museum on Jan. 27, will feature oil paints, prints and watercolors showing different techniques depicting the largely nocturnal birds, Landry said. The bulk of the show will be borrowed from the Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wis., supplemented by works from the museum’s collection.

The Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon is the only museum specifically devoted to American avian art and the only art museum within a conservation organization, according to Landry. The museum grew out of Canton resident Mildred Morse Allen’s dual interests in conservation and art, he said.

“She thought of this property as a sanctuary in her lifetime and used to photograph birds on the property and used those photos in her paintings,” Landry said.

Allen produced films, paintings and photographs featuring natural topics, Landry said. Her films were often set on her property, which became the museum, he said.

The exhibition space became open to the public in 1998, according to Landry. The museum was previously called the Mass Audubon Visual Arts Center.

Apart from the gallery, the property features two miles of walking trails where birds are often seen. Landry said Thursday he spotted a turkey walking across the lawn that day.

The current exhibit, “Nests, Eggs, Heartbreak & Beauty,” is on display through this Jan. 13. This show centers on a book by Genevieve Jones of Circleville, Ohio, called “Illustrations of the Nests and Eggs of the Birds of Ohio.” The museum obtained a copy of the book, which was meant as a supplement to John James Audubon’s classic “The Birds of America,” Landry said.

The exhibition hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. For more information on the museum, call 781-821-8853 or email maba@massaudubon.org.

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