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New Exhibition: The Beauty of Feathers -- An Exhibition on the Science and Art of Birds


Author: ZHANG Yihan; Photographer: ZHENG Yu

With pleasing sounds, colorful feathers and elegant posture, birds are nature’s fairies, enchanting people since ancient times. As birds are among our closest “contacts” in our daily life, we have developed many metaphorical meanings for them, so they are also closely related to the spiritual life of human beings. Birds’ artistic representation can be found in almost every form of art, for instance, potteries and jades, poems and paintings, and even modern sculptures and video productions.

On Dec. 29th, 2020, The Beauty of Feathers -- An Exhibition on the Science and Art of Birds, co-sponsored by the Beijing Museum of Natural History (BMNH) and the Zhejiang Museum of Natural History (ZMNH), was unveiled in BMNH. The exhibition, a mix-and-match of science and art, explores birds’ biological mysteries and aesthetic.

The exhibition includes fine specimens of birds collected by ZMNH, bird-themed paintings and photographs, illustrating avian biological features and artistic beauty.

In the “Bird Specimens” section of the exhibition, varied bird specimens in different shapes help visitors understand the ecological groups of birds, like songbirds, waders, raptors, etc.

The “Bird Specimens Preparation” part shows how bird specimens are categorized and processed.

Eagle owl (left) and vulture (right)

In “The Mysteries of Birds’ Feather Colors” part, a large number of exquisite specimens demonstrate how feather coloring is linked to the natural habitat.

Lady Amherst’s pheasant (left), blue peafowl and southern cassowary (right)

The “Bird Paintings” part compared traditional freehand-style Chinese bird paintings with scientific illustrations that show biological details, while the “Bird Photography” part is a collection of remarkable moments of bird behavior.

Some photos on exhibition

The exhibition was open from Dec. 29th, 2020 to Jun. 27th, 2021.

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