Audubon Selections: Canids from the Wilds of Nebraska

January 15 – September 28, 2008 —

John James Audubon is famous for his study of wildlife and the subsequent drawings and texts related to his observations. Audubon Selections: Canids from the Wilds of Nebraskafeatures a select group of works depicting some of the state’s carnivorous mammals, the canids. The lithographs are drawn from the Museum of Nebraska Art’s collection along with two loaned from Omaha’s Joslyn Art Museum.

The canids are characterized by non-retractable claws and extended muzzles. Today several of these animals are found in Nebraska – the red fox, grey fox, swift fox, and the coyote. In times past, the gray wolf was a resident of the state; however, the pioneer expansion of the 1800s desperately depleted the numbers of larger mammals that the wolves fed on. Gray wolves turned to domestic animals for food, becoming despised enemies of settlers. The animal, once found in the U.S. ranging from Mexico to Canada, was nearly extinct in 1973 when the Endangered Species Act marked them as a protected group.