Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit the interactive exhibition - Audubon’s Birds of America, currently taking place at the National Museum of Scotland until 8th May 2022. Wow, it has to be one of the largest, in-depth and immersive exhibitions I have had the pleasure to view. From the birds singing to the captivating and colourful images as well as the descriptive text, quotes and more. Here is why you should visit this incredible once-in-a-lifetime exhibition.
Audubon’s Birds of America - Exhibition Review
Plan more time than you would expect to visit this fascinating exhibition - Audubon's Birds of America. There is so much to see from the well-put-together displays to the audios and films that are well worth listening and watching.
Getting To The National Museum of Scotland
The National Museum of Scotland is located on Chambers Street, Edinburgh. Currently, there are some local bus diversions, due to maintenance taking place on North Bridge. Though this might be advantageous, as currently the Lothian Buses no 31 and 3 are stopping directly outside the museum. These can be taken from Princes Street with a single adult fare of £1.80 (no change is provided and contactless is accepted).
If you prefer the museum is also easily reached on foot and around 15 minutes walk from Princes Street.
Audubon's Birds of America exhibition is taking place on level 3, with a direct escalator from level 1. Entry to the museum is free, with a charge for special exhibitions. An adult ticket is £10, members free, with discounted tickets available for seniors, students, unemployed, etc.
Open everyday 10am till 5pm with the last admission to the exhibition at 4.30pm.
The cafe also has a range of sandwiches, snacks, hot soup as well as beverages. I can highly recommend the carrot cake. Yum!
There is also a gift shop with delightful, ornate and wildlife-friendly gifts.
What To Expect - Audubon's Birds of America Exhibition
The exhibition itself is segmented into different categories including A Fragile Beauty, where Audubon talks about the fragility of bird species some of which are now extinct - Carolina parakeet and the Passenger pigeon. Said to be a complicated and complex person he turned his dream of publishing into a reality not in America but here in Edinburgh! You can discover the high society acquaintances he met including the long-awaited meeting of Sir Walter Scott, one of 78 printing copper plates (dating 1824) saved from being destroyed out of hundreds, as well as one of the large volumes published (1-metre high x 70 centimetres wide) on loan from The Mitchel Library in Glasgow and also the smallest (an eighth of the original size).
They say nothing great is ever accomplished easily and this was indeed the case. Audubon faced challenges throughout his life about his observational methods and also from contemporaries. Though today he is celebrated for the fine art he has created.
There are lots more exhibits to mention but I hope these have whet your appetite to visit the Audubon's Birds of America exhibition.