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In 1733, a wealthy young planter from South Carolina, John Drayton, traveled to Europe and procured a set of thirty-six beautifully drawn watercolors depicting the native birds of Europe and North America. For his drawings, Drayton commissioned one of the most prominent artists working in London, George Edwards. The frontis page to the set features the year it was ordered, 1733, and Drayton’s name in bold script. Shortly after his return to Carolina, Drayton undertook his most famous project, the completion of his family’s Palladian mansion, Drayton Hall.


Frontis Page 1733 George Edwards London, England Ink on Paper H: 13-10/16"; W: 11" Gift of James D. Didier (Acc. 5531)


Vireo, or Red Eyed Fly Catcher Circa 1733 George Edwards, London, England Watercolor on Paper


H: 10-7⁄16"; W: 9-3 ⁄8" Anonymous Gift (Acc. 4763.2)


Robert A. Leath is Vice President, Collections & Research and Chief Curator at Old Salem Museums & Gardens


Summer/Fall 2011


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