Orange Thrush

Copied Paula McCartney, Orange Thrush, 2004, chromogenic print, image: 1919 in. (48.348.3 cm) sheet: 2420 in. (61.050.8 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment, 2010.44.1A-B, © 2010, Paula McCartney

Artwork Details

Orange Thrush
Not on view
image: 1919 in. (48.348.3 cm) sheet: 2420 in. (61.050.8 cm)
© 2010, Paula McCartney
Credit Line
Museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment
Mediums Description
chromogenic print
  • Landscape
  • Animal — bird — thrush
Object Number

Artwork Description

Paula McCartney’s Bird Watching photographs playfully parody bird watchers’ desire to identify and inventory their avian finds. Although she does not consider herself a birder, McCartney collects field guides and uses them to help name her craft-store birds and provide believable attributions. Like the photographs themselves, the accompanying specimen labels are a combination of truth and fiction. They lend a sense of authority, albeit false, to the images and enhance the illusion. The labels also serve as a reminder that our experience and understanding of nature is mediated through a wide range of tools and cultural conventions, like field guides.

The Singing & the Silence: Birds in Contemporary Art, 2014