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Passenger Pigeon

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Passenger Pigeon

76 x 25 x 25 in. (193 x 63.5 x 63.5 cm)

Todd McGrain
United States

Object Type: Sculpture
Medium and Support: Bronze
Credit Line: Clara and Edwin Strasenburgh Fund
Accession Number: 2007.26
Location: Currently on view
Link to this object

Artist statement from

The Lost Bird Project recognizes the tragedy of modern extinction by immortalizing North American birds, which have been driven to extinction, including the Passenger Pigeon, the Carolina Parakeet, the Labrador Duck, the Great Auk, and the Heath Hen.

The bronze sculptures I am creating will be subtle, beautiful, and hopeful reminders. The human scale of each sculpture elicits a physical sympathy. The smooth surface, like a stone polished from touch, conjures the effect of memory and time. I model these gestural forms to contain a taut equilibrium, a balanced pressure from outside and from inside—like a breath held in. As a group they are melancholy, yet affirming. They compel us to recognize the finality of our loss, they ask us not to forget them, and they remind us of our duty to prevent further extinction.

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Web Links See links to web pages and lesson plans
MAGexplore MAGexplore provides in-depth information and close looking at over 200 objects in MAG's collection.
Taking Flight: an Interview with Artist Todd McGrain Blog article from the Ithaca (NY) Times
Todd McGrain Artist's website documenting McGrain's Lost Bird Project, among others.

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