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Rare John James Audubon Prints Donated to University of Utah

The University of Utah recently received a donation of 13 hand-colored prints created by John James Audubon, a French-American naturalist and artist.Audubon prints are some of the first detailed, artistic representations of animals from across America.

The prints were donated to the University of Utah by Lonnie and Shannon Paulos and feature images of moose, bison, elk and other animals native to North America.

Alison Conner is the reference librarian for Special Collections at the University of Utah and works with the rare books and art the university acquires. She said the prints were created in a time when printing in color was very difficult to do.


"[It's] done with a process called lithography, which is when you etch the image into a stone and then you print it off of a stone," said Conner. "So there's not that many that were made and there is a high demand for them because of their artistic quality and historical value."


The historical aspects of the prints are not only important to researchers studying color printing but also to biologists wanting to learn more from these detailed images.

“To be able to see these up close and in detail is something that not very many people get the opportunity to have," said Conner.

The prints have a combined value of $250,000. The exhibit is free and open to the public at the University of Utah’s J.Willard Marriott Library until September 9, after which the prints will become part of the libraries archives.