Bird Woman

A bird in the hand...

Elizabeth Gould was an accomplished artist, a loving mother and a devoted wife. She applied her artistic skills to assisting her husband with the creation of beautifully illustrated ornithological guides in the first half of the 19th century.

Elizabeth’s husband John Gould (aka the Birdman) was a successful entrepreneur with a flourishing publishing and taxidermy business. He was a competent draughtsman and maintained control over the detail and design of each plate. However he relied on his wife, and later other artists, to record the scientific details of birds in an aesthetically pleasing way.

Elizabeth’s role in the production of Gould’s bird books has been understated and overlooked. This exhibition looks at the birds the Goulds studied while in Tasmania, and questions whose hand was behind the Birds of Australia.

The exhibition celebrates all of Tasmania’s endemic birds, with a particular interest in the species under threat. 

Open from 8 September 2017 to 27 January 2018 in the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts, Ground Floor, 91 Murray Street, Hobart.