If you pay a visit to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, keep your eyes peeled for birds
even after you come inside. Art is everywhere: a pair of brick-chested Hudsonian
Godwits, from the brush of Roger Tory Peterson, stands in a doorway; two delicate Ivory
Gulls and a group of Whooping Cranes flank the elevator; and at the top of the stairs
George M. Sutton’s Common Mergansers take flight against snow-darkened clouds.
Downstairs in a wood-paneled room in our visitor center, a woodcock buzzes into
a spring evening; a peregrine clutches a Bufflehead on a cliff; a King Eider shares a
rocky shore with Canada Geese. They are the work of Louis Agassiz Fuertes, who was
a friend of Lab founder Arthur “Doc” Allen and a mentor to Sutton. Today, that twin
spirit of artistry and mentorship continues here.
You can see it in our auditorium, where a collection of work by artists in our Bartels
Science Illustration Internship program is now on display. There are hummingbirds
like scattered petals; chickadees, nuthatches, and creepers lined up for identification;
a fall Magnolia Warbler hiding in a turning maple. Bright-eyed bluebirds and blackbirds
almost fly off the wall.
Bartels art intern Jane Kim painted these three species of Hawaiian honeycreepers for a forthcoming edition of the Handbook of Bird Biology.
I wish you could all visit the Lab this
winter to see the exquisite work of the
11 talented artists we’ve hosted over the
last 9 years. But knowing that Ithaca, New
York, is a bit out of the way for many of
you, we thought this issue of BirdScope
could do the next best thing.
Our centerfold describes the
development of our illustration program
and introduces you to our interns and
their work. The internship, generously
funded by Philip and Susan Bartels,
gives these young illustrators a chance
to work with scientists, build their portfolios,
and helps keep them out of the
ranks of starving artists.
This centerfold is a natural place to
collect their work, because virtually all
BirdScope centerfolds in the last four years have featured art by Bartels interns. And
as we introduce a change in the way we send you news, you may soon start seeing
their work in Living Bird.
Beginning with the Summer issue, we’ll merge stories from BirdScope into a new
section of Living Bird so members will receive all their news in one magazine. Supporters
who normally get BirdScope will receive this section reformatted as a newsletter.
Look for full details on the shift in our Spring issue. In the meantime, I’d love to
hear your thoughts about the stories we tell and the topics you’d like to hear more
about—please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org or at our mailing address: BirdScope, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, 159 Sapsucker Woods Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850.