Brasher art on view at Kent library
Kent Memorial Library is present an exhibit, “Secrets of the Friendly Woods - Rex Brasher’s Birds,” through Aug. 30.
A family program of the exhibit will be given July 23 at 10:30 a.m. and a presentation and video about Brasher, followed by a reception, will be offered Aug. 20 at 4 p.m. at the library.
At the age of 8, Brasher decided to paint all the birds in North America from life in their natural habitats.
He traveled the continent to study birds and sketched them in the field, financing his expeditions by working as a lithographer and playing the horses.
Despite having no formal art training, he painted some 1,200 species and subspecies of birds, 3,000 individual birds, including males, females and juveniles, and over 350 species of trees and shrubs.
Brasher purchased a farm on the border between Kent and Amenia, N.Y., which he named Chickadee Valley, in 1911.
He became involved in the community, and was one of the founders of the Kent Art Association.
By working daily from sunup until the mid-afternoon, Brasher finally completed 874 watercolors of all the birds in North America by the mid-1920s.
He wanted to keep the collection intact, but he also wanted a wider audience for his work.
He decided to have black and white prints made from the original paintings, and, using an air- brush technique, hand colored some 90,000 prints that were then bound into books.
“Birds and Trees of North America” was sold by subscription and contained 12 hand-bound volumes.
For more information, all the Main Street library at 860-927-3761.