The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a world leader in the study, appreciation, and conservation of birds. Our hallmarks are scientific excellence and technological innovation to advance the understanding of nature and to engage people of all ages in learning about birds and protecting the planet.
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology invites you to celebrate the diversity of birds around the world through a unique blend of art and science. The phenomenal history of birds spans 375 million years and 231 bird families. To commemorate this global treasure, we have commissioned fine artist Jane Kim and her studio, Ink Dwell, to depict the evolution and diversity of birds on a single large mural in our visitor center. The mural, titled "From So Simple a Beginning" after Charles Darwin's famous quote about evolution and biodiversity, will provide a visual journey through epochs of evolutionary development, from fish to dinosaurs to the present day. From So Simple a Beginning will feature one representative bird from every family in the world, including several extinct species. The birds will be painted true-to-size against the silhouette of the continent where they originated. This mural is extensive in scope and size. Beginning in August 2014, completion will span 14 months and 4,000 square feet of wall space.
A Lasting Impact
More than 60,000 people visit the Cornell Lab of Ornithology each year, and will have the opportunity to experience From So Simple a Beginning. With this mural, we hope to inspire the public with the diversity of birds, and promote an understanding of the vast evolutionary timeline of birds—a concept that may often be difficult to conceptualize. This will be the only mural in the world that illustrates all 231 families of birds in one place, and it will portray how birds from the present day evolved from dinosaurs.
What We Need
Two generous supporters have already funded the initial planning and design of From So Simple a Beginning. We need to raise $30,000 to bring the first section of the mural to life. Your contribution will allow Jane to create the southeast section of the mural including New Zealand, Antarctica, the southern oceans, and Australia. She will paint birds such as the New Zealand Great Spotted Kiwi, the extinct, 10-foot-tall North Island Giant Moa, Australia's extravagant Superb Lyrebird, and the magnificent Wandering Albatross. You can help bring these birds to life. Please, donate today and help us spread the word.
You will receive a series of three 7" x 7" prints featuring Jane Kim’s sketches of the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Tawny Frogmouth and Splendid Fairywren, as well as the digital image of Jane's sketch of Ornimegalonyx, an extinct giant owl, that can be used as your computer wallpaper.
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