'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday 22 April 2024

Review: The Bird Art of William T. Cooper

The images in The Bird Art of William T. Cooper are of immense beauty.

 They are accompanied by valuable information on bird life.  

The text is presented by his wife, Wendy Cooper, botanist, author, and explorer.

This is a companion volume to The Botanical Art of William T. Cooper, and is made up mostly of unpublished artwork, with a few exceptions.

A stunning collection, the book is perfect for older children interested in learning about Australian and other magnificent birds and the areas that they frequent.

During his earlier years as an artist, Cooper painted mainly landscapes and seascapes, and mostly in acrylics and oils. He was a self-taught artist who improved with time to become internationally acclaimed.

Both scientific and common names are listed. They are taken from the International Ornithological Congress’ Birds of the World Check list. Names are explained, along with habitat, countries where they nest, nesting and eating habits, and behaviors.

Sketches of each bird were initially done in pencil and then re-imaged in oil on canvas, and watercolor. This process appears in stages on each page and followed through to the finished image accompanied by interesting annotations.

Included are the height and weight of each species, with excerpts taken from his diaries, and detailed notes about specific factors of each breed.

The introduction gives comprehensive biographical information on Cooper full of the important areas of his life and the legacy he left.

The contents are presented in nine parts, with the last being an Index of Species. These include Seashores and Wetlands, Grassland and Woodlands, Forests, Africa, India& South-East Asia, New Guinea, and The Americas.

A most beautiful tome, this is a collectors item.

A glorious publication that will stay with me forever!

Title: The Bird Art of William T. Cooper
Author: Wendy Cooper & Rupert Russell
Illustrator: William T. Cooper
Publisher: NLA, $ 64.99
Publication Date: 1 November 2023
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781922507600
For ages: 12+
Type: Non-fiction