A Few of My Favorite Things
Ingrid E. Bogel retired as CCAHA’s Executive Director in September 2014. During her 23 years at CCAHA, Ingrid witnessed a veritable parade of our cultural legacy passing through the Center’s laboratory. Artifacts come to the Center from every region of the world, covering millennia of history—the timeless documents of people and events that changed the world.
For this issue of Art-i-facts, Ingrid selected five items that she found particularly inspiring. It is a deeply personal selection, reflecting her passions for pastels, architecture, nature, and so much more.
John Gould’s Birds of Australia (Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University)
There was a time in 2006 when three intact copies of John James Audubon’s legendary The Birds of America were in the CCAHA laboratory for treatment. The enormous elephant folio prints were covering conservator’s desks throughout the Center, making it a true birders’ paradise. As a dedicated birder herself, Ingrid was in her element. At that time, CCAHA conservators were treating Audubon volumes from Lehigh University, the Maryland State Law Library, and the John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove.
But being surrounded by a profusion of Audubon prints wasn’t the only thrill for the birder in Ingrid. Over the years, she received opportunities to get to know some of the other great—albeit less heralded—scientific illustrators of the world’s birds. For instance, in 2013, CCAHA conservators treated the State Library of Pennsylvania’s nine-volume set of American Ornithology by Alexander Wilson, America’s first great artist of birds whose work was only surpassed by Audubon’s masterpiece.
And—even more special to Ingrid—there was the year when CCAHA memorably treated the work of John Gould, Australia’s “Father of Ornithology.” The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University brought a copy of their very rare “suppressed” first edition of the first volume of Gould’s Birds of Australia to CCAHA for treatment. The work was performed in anticipation of a special exhibit, “John Gould and the Birds of Australia,” presented at the Australian Embassy in Washington, D.C., in partnership with the Academy. One of Ingrid’s favorite memories is attending the formal grand opening of the exhibit at the Australian Embassy, an international affair that celebrated a great naturalist and artist while graciously recognizing the conservation team who ensured its preservation.