02

April

2014

0

Libraries Brings The Lost Bird Project to the Smithsonian

by Liz O'Brien

Passenger Pigeon

(L-R): Jonathan Kavalier (Smithsonian Gardens Supervisory Horticulturist), Todd McGrain (Artist), and Susan Frampton (Libraries Program Coordinator) stand next to the newly-installed passenger pigeon sculpture in the Urban Habitat Garden.

The Smithsonian Libraries and Smithsonian Gardens present The Lost Bird Project, an exhibit by artist Todd McGrain, March 27 through March 15, 2015. This project recognizes the tragedy of modern extinction by immortalizing North American birds that have been driven to extinction. It features large-scale bronze sculptures of the Carolina parakeet, the Labrador duck, the great auk, the heath hen and the passenger pigeon.

Four of the sculptures are installed in the Enid A. Haupt Garden, a 4.2-acre public rooftop garden between the Smithsonian Castle andIndependence Avenue. The fifth sculpture, the passenger pigeon, is installed in the Urban Habitat Garden at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.

The Smithsonian Libraries will also present, Once There Were Billions: Vanished Birds of North America, on view at the National Museum of Natural History June 24 through October 2015. The exhibit commemorates the 100th anniversary of Martha the passenger pigeon, the last member of a species that once filled America’s skies.

In addition, the Smithsonian Libraries will screen “The Lost Bird Project” documentary at the National Museum of Natural History Nov. 20. It tells the story of the five bird species and follows McGrain’s efforts to install his sculptures in locations where the birds were last seen. The film will be followed by a brief talk by the artist and a book signing.

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