|American Watercolors Gallery|
|Rex Brasher was born in 1869 in Brooklyn, New York, into an old Huguenot family. He became passionate about birds at an early age, due to the influence of his father, an avid naturalist and bird taxidermist. In 1878, at the age of eight, Brasher determined to paint all the birds of North America from life--and better than Audubon. He started painting birds seriously around age 16.|
His determination to study birds in their natural surroundings took Brasher to all corners of North America. He financed his first trip, down the east coast from Maine to Florida, by working as a photoengraver. Most of his other trips were financed by betting on horse races. During his years of artistic work he often found it necessary to make financial ends meet by doing laboring tasks of all kinds, including road building and house painting. On his trips to the West, Midwest and Gulf Coast, Brasher traveled by train and on foot. Sometimes he walked the countryside for months at a time, stopping along the way to mail home his sketches and notes. Between trips he painted in an apartment in New York.
In 1907, while studying the bird skin collection of the American Museum of Natural History, Brasher met the famous bird painter, Louis Agassiz Fuertes, who became his good friend and a major influence on his artistic techniques. His paintings included 1200 species and sub-species of birds listed on the American Ornithologists Union (AOU) Checklist of North American Birds. Brasher's paintings included more than twice as many birds as Audubon's, who painted 489. Brasher worked from direct observation and portrayed the birds in natural activities and habitats, including associated plants whenever possible. He considered that his 874 paintings, which were placed on exhibition in 1932 at the English Book Shop in New York City, represented a completion of the work begun by John James Audubon.
|Medium: Gouache on board|
|SELECTIONS FROM THIS WORK|
Rex Brasher - Nesting Flamingos
Rex Brasher - Seagulls
Rex Brasher - Terns