Wrap Your Hands Around The Wall of Birds

‘The Wall of Birds’ Dazzling New Book Highlights Art & Eons of Bird Evolution

Painting the Wall of Birds mural at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Photo by Shailee Shah
Painting the Wall of Birds mural at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Photo by Shailee Shah

Imagine a wall covered top to bottom, side-to-side with a one-of-a-kind 2,500-square foot mural, a “Wall of Birds,” depicting the diversity and 375-million-year evolution of birds.

But you don’t have to imagine. This wall is real.

It’s the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Visitor Center in Ithaca, NY.

Left: Paradise Tanager Right: Long-billed Woodcreeper. Photo credit: Ink Dwell studio
Left: Paradise Tanager Right: Long-billed Woodcreeper. Photo credit: Ink Dwell Studio

And it leaves visitors gaping in open-mouthed wonder.

It’s the work of Jane Kim, artist, science illustrator, and founder of Ink Dwell Studio.

Experience The Wall of Birds

And now you can experience it for yourself in the new book, The Wall of Birds: One Planet, One Planet, 243 Families, 375 Million Years’ co-authored by Jane Kim and Ink Dwell’s cofounder Thayer Walker.

‘The Wall of Birds: One Planet, One Planet, 243 Families, 375 Million Years’ co-authored by Jane Kim and Ink Dwell’s cofounder Thayer Walker
‘The Wall of Birds: One Planet, One Planet, 243 Families, 375 Million Years’

In lyrical prose and colorful details, readers travel through time from the thundering ancient ancestors of birds to the dazzling variety of forms and colors we see today, all exquisitely rendered.

“The North Island Saddleback was the very first bird I painted,” says Kim.

“It took two-and-a-half years to finish all 270 birds and ancestors, all done in true-to-life size, from the 30-foot Yutyrannus to the tiny Marvelous Spatuletail hummingbird.”

Great Hornbill. Photo credit: Ink Dwell Studio
Great Hornbill. Photo credit: Ink Dwell Studio

Kim details the process of developing an ‘avian Pantone’ chart to keep track of the vast rainbow of colors found in birds.

(Kim discusses painting the Great Hornbill below).

She explains the challenges of balancing the sometimes-competing disciplines of fine art and science illustration.

And reveals secrets to managing the inevitable voices of doubt that creep into the head of any artist bringing a work to life.

Avian Michelangelo

Raves about the mural itself give a hint as to what readers can expect in the book.

“Now, this avian Vatican also has its own Michelangelo.”Audubon

“One of the most ambitious natural history murals in the world.”Juxtapoz

(Reflecting Nature: Creating the Wall of Birds below).

In the forward to the book, Cornell Lab director John W. Fitzpatrick explains the genesis of the enormous project, which intimated other artists but animated Kim.

Australia Detail. Photo credit: Ink Dwell Studio
Australia Detail. Photo credit: Ink Dwell Studio

“If Jane ever gulped at all on grasping the magnitude of this endeavor, she never let on,” Fitzpatrick writes.

“Rather, she approached the project with enthusiasm, conviction, and copious hard work…It takes enormous heart to say yes to a project so vast, and then to dive into it day in and day out for nearly three years.”

Order Your Copy Today

‘The Wall of Birds: One Planet, One Planet, 243 Families, 375 Million Years’ will be released on October 23 and is available now for pre-order here.

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