John James Audubon State Park Celebrates 75th Anniversary


HENDERSON, Ky. – John James Audubon State Park in Henderson is celebrating its 75th anniversary during 2013 and has scheduled several special events throughout the year.


The park is named after the famous wildlife artist who made Henderson his home in the early 1800s. The park has a museum dedicated to Audubon’s life and his work, as well as a nature center. The park also has cottages, a campground, golf course, gift shop, art programs, a lake, hiking trails and other recreational activities.


For more information, visit http://www.parks.ky.gov/parks/recreationparks/john-james/default.aspx  or call the park at 1-270-826-2247.


Here is a listing of events planned for the anniversary during 2013:


Audubon Museum’s Traveling Exhibit
75th Anniversary exhibit

Jan. 28 -Feb. 10

As our first exhibit in the series of 75th anniversary exhibits, Audubon Museum welcomes home the traveling exhibit. The exhibit has traveled across the United States for the past seven years, serving approximately 24 museums. Audubon Museum is proud to showcase these unique artifacts by exhibiting them to the public, Jan. 28 at the annual Friends of Audubon luncheon through Feb. 10. For further information contact: Alan Gehret, Curator or Kim McGrew-Liggett, Arts Administrator at the John James Audubon Museum, 270-827-1893.


Susan Towles exhibit

75th Anniversary exhibit

Jan. 28-April 17 

This exhibit is a brief history of Susan Towles’ life and accomplishments during her years in Henderson. Towles played a huge role in how the Audubon collection came about and the efforts to build a museum to house it.


‘Celebrating Audubon Past and Present’
 75th Anniversary exhibit

 Feb. 21-April 7

Audubon State Park is hosting several exhibits and events for 2013, celebrating its 75th year. “Celebrating Audubon Past and Present” will be the first exhibit of our grand celebration. Participation in the invitational exhibit is open to all members of the Audubon Arts Alliance, Tri-State Art Guild, Henderson Art Society, Oval and the Owensboro Art guild. All two-dimensional mediums within the guidelines of the prospectus will be accepted. The prospectus for the exhibit will be on hand at the Audubon Museum or upon request. Visit the museum Thursdays through Sundays, February though March to visit this exciting exhibit of past and present years at the John James Audubon State Park. Opening reception will be Feb. 21 from 5-6:30 p.m. For more info: Kim McGrew-Liggett, kim.mcgrew@ky.gov (270) 827-1893

‘A Garden Party’ exhibit
  75th Anniversary exhibit

April 18-June 16

Opening reception: Thursday, April 18

As spring starts to bloom in the beautiful gardens of the John James Audubon Courtyard, it is joined by the brilliant colors of the exhibit “A Garden Party.” Exhibiting artists include Rita Wannemuehler, Janet Hayden, Katie Lowing and Joanne Massey.

Staff Contact: Kim McGrew-Liggett (kim.mcgrew@ky.gov)


‘A Garden Party’ Tea

 Saturday, April 27, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Ladies, please join us for our annual spring tea, “A Garden Party” at the John James Audubon Museum. The tea is in conjunction with the exhibit “A Garden Party.” We will be celebrating our 75th anniversary of Audubon State Park, as well as Audubon’s birthday, April 26. Guest speakers, appetizers, and special music will be provided. Dress up for the occasion. Pre-registration is required before April 25. Tickets will be on sale at the main office or the Audubon Museum during the month of April. Cost is $15.00 per person. Children 8 and up may attend if accompanied by an adult. For further information, please contact Kim McGrew-Liggett (kim.mcgrew@ky.gov) or Raini Hall at the Audubon Museum, 270-827-1893.


‘The Dream Comes True’
75th Anniversary exhibit

April 18-June 16

A display of the efforts and hard work of the Civilian Conservation Corp, as they built the Audubon State Park and museum in honor of John James Audubon.


‘Shutterbug’ photography exhibit
75th Anniversary exhibit

 June 27-Aug. 18

Audubon Museum

Open daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

John James Audubon Museum presents the annual “Shutterbug” juried photography exhibition, June 27-Aug. 18. This year’s theme will be “Celebrating 75 years at Audubon State Park.” The exhibition will showcase color film, black-and-white and digital nature works by regional and local photographers. Awards given for best of show, first, second and third place. The show is juried and will be sponsored by the Friends of Audubon and the John James Audubon Museum. Staff Contact: Kim McGrew 270-827-1893. Free to the public.


75th Anniversary Exhibit Part III: Growth

June 27- Aug. 23

In Part III of our 75th Anniversary Exhibit we feature the growth of John James Audubon State Park, with the addition of a campground, cottages, golf course, and more. As the timeline advances, see what happened behind the scenes as the park was molded into what it is today by key people on both local and state levels. The exhibit, in its entirety, will be displayed again at the 75th Anniversary Gala in November. Portions will then find a permanent home in the museum tower.


Grand Opening Commemoration Day

Tuesday, July 16

John James Audubon State Park Museum first opened its doors July 16, 1938. After 40 years of planning, local librarian Susan Towles finally saw her dream come true. We invite you to celebrate with us as we recreate the museum’s grand opening – complete with treats and refreshments at the Museum Store, and the museum admission prices from 1938: adults 30 cents and children 9 cents.


‘Musee’ Exhibit

Sept. 5-Oct. 20

The French-Norman style of John James Audubon State Park’s museum and Teahouse buildings are indicative of the high craftsmanship and strong historical references made popular by the Civilian Conservation Corps (who built these two magnificent buildings). Over the past 75 years thousands of tourists, photographers, artists, and aspiring architects have marveled over these picturesque structures. This juried exhibit and competition will feature several regional artists’ perspectives of the Audubon Museum or Teahouse. For a prospectus please contact the museum. The public is invited to attend the opening reception and awards ceremony Sept.  5 at the Audubon Museum. For more information please contact Kim McGrew, Audubon arts administrator 270-827-1893


‘The Alteration of Time; Contemporary Landscapes of Audubon’s Historic Journey’

by Krista Elrick and Jo Whaley

Sept. 5-Oct. 20

Inspired by the colorful episodes that John James Audubon described in his pre-Civil war journals, Krista Elrick and Jo Whaley’s contemporary photographs re-evaluate his epic contributions, in light of the environmental changes that have occurred in the United States since his time.


With Audubon’s writings as her guide, Krista Elrick photographed the same Mississippi River Basin and Eastern seashores where he hunted, wrote, observed and painted birds. Her black-and-white photographs are of Audubon’s home at Mill Grove and the secret rock where he and Lucy cemented their lifelong love and partnership. From the bluffs of Cincinnati, her photo collage radiates the hope and doubt Audubon expressed in his journals, when he began his epic journey floating down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to New Orleans in 1820. Photographing along the Natchez Trace Trail, Ms. Elrick’s images show the growth of forests, which were cotton fields at the time Audubon walked five hundred miles home to Henderson, Kentucky. Unexpected and ironic changes have occurred in the landscape he so lovingly described and depicted.


Jo Whaley’s photographs examine the artifacts for Audubon’s production of the “The Birds of America.” As the landscapes of his time have changed, so has the material from which he created his monumental work. In these artifacts, one can trace the passion of Audubon, along with the exquisite craft of his collaborators. These objects, such as the copper plates from which the prints were made, are shown through the poetic veil, which comes from the passing of time and a change in perspective.


“The Alteration of Time: Contemporary Landscapes of Audubon’s Historic Journey” premiers at John James Audubon Museum in Henderson, Kentucky (Sept. 5 – Oct. 20, 2013), then will tour to various museums throughout the country.  Support for the exhibition comes from the Puffin Foundation LTD and USA Projects. The public is invited to attend the opening reception Sept. 5 at the John James Audubon Museum. For more information please contact Kim McGrew, Audubon arts administrator, 270-827-1893


75th Anniversary Gala       

Nov. 2

Join us as we close our yearlong celebration with a museum gala. All three parts of our historical anniversary exhibit will be on display along with a very special collection of future plans and dreams for the next 75 years. Special hors d’oeuvres and music by Eric Scales will be in the lower level of the museum. Also, enjoy a multimedia presentation of park history including the recognition of key people throughout the park’s growth. For more information or tickets, contact Kim McGrew-Liggett at 270-827-1893 (kim.mcgrew@ky.gov) or Raini Hall.





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