Attending In the Tradition of Audubon

rachelle and wes siegrist miniature paintings

Wes and I were delighted to attend the opening for the In the Audubon Tradition Exhibition at the Cincinnati Museum Center this past week.  The beautiful museum is located in Cincinnati, Ohio, where the exhibition will be on display through January 5th.  Since Wes’ parents decided to join us, we drove to their home in Indiana, and then the four of us headed to Cincinnati Thursday afternoon.  The grand museum with a gorgeous water feature in front, set against the backdrop of the evening sky, was a beautiful sight to behold indeed!

Cincinnati Museum Center

Upon walking through the front doors, you enter the largest half-dome in the western hemisphere and with its art deco style grandeur, it’s truly amazing!  The sound of 800 voices at one point created a most unusual sound in the dome’s acoustics.

cincinnati museum center dome

Walking into the exhibition was just as impressive, with several of John James Audubon’s elephant folios on display.  There is even a large digital “book” where one can flip slowly through the pages of the historical book, simply with the swipe of a hand, making a digital image of the next page to appear on the large blank canvas in the shape of the big books.


great auk john james audubon
A Great Auk on display


Several rooms have numerous Audubon prints and mounts of now extinct birds on display throughout the exhibition.

john james audubon

There is even one of his original stone etchings for making lithographs on display, complete with all of his intricate cuts, and most interesting to see.

in the audubon tradition

Several of his books, containing numerous print images are on display, such as this one entitled “The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America 1845”.

john james audubon print

The preview was very well attended and we were delighted to see people thrilled with viewing our miniatures in person, and being amazed by them, asking how in the world we paint such detail in such small paintings.

n the audubon tradition wes and rachelle siegrist

Of course, a big part of the fun during the evening was seeing and spending time with several artist friends, some that we hadn’t seen in quite a while!  Before we knew it, the evening had come to an end, so we said our goodbyes and started the two-hour drive back to Wes’ parents home.  The next day we spent taking advantage of the numerous ripe persimmons on several trees on their property.


Christie and I spent quite some time picking up persimmons off of the ground, as well as collecting a few very ripe ones from the trees.  Zeus the family dog, watched us and kept looking into the bucket to see what in the world all of the fuss was about.

rachelle siegrist

Next came time to process the small persimmons, which was done by washing them and tossing them into a food mill, where it takes one person to hold the mill and the other to turn the crank around and around, while it separates the seeds and peeling out, forcing the rich, sweet pulp down through the tiny holes in the bottom.  It’s a laborious process, so we took turns turning the handle.

rachelle siegrist2

But alas it was worth all the work in the end after the creamy pulp was turned into homemade persimmon bread and a large pan of persimmon pudding, both of which were totally scrumptious!

persimmon bread

The next morning we said goodbye to Wes’ parents and headed back to our home here in the Smokies, where we’re currently getting ready for the upcoming Society of Animal Artists 59th Annual Exhibition at the beautiful Briscoe Western Art Museum, opening this next week in San Antonio, Texas.

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Until Next Time . . . 

~ Rachelle

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