Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania on September 17, 1990 · Page 5
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Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania · Page 5

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Indiana, Pennsylvania
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Monday, September 17, 1990
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Page 5
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STATE Thursday, September 18, 2003 — Page 5 Display shows drama of birds Rare Audubon prints capture birds' struggles By TODD SPANGLER Associated Press Writer PITTSBURGH — From an eagle with its talons snapped around a little white bunny to a hawk with its beak dripping with blood, one thing about John James Audubon's birds becomes clear: You wouldn't want some of these feathered friends splashing around in the backyard bird bath. Setting out to depict every kind of American bird, Audubon spent more than a decade painting more than a thousand of them, from crows and parakeets to turkeys and cormorants. He took a novel approach — for the 19th century — that led him to show his ornithological subjects in a mostly natural light, characterizing them in moments of sweetness, song or survival, Audubon's sweep between subtle rendition and c!olorful drama is appropriately at the center of a new show at the University of Pittsburgh's University Art Gallery, where, beginning today, 62 of the 435 rare, restored prints from the artist-naturalist's "Birds of America" will be shown. With little wall room to spare, gallery director Josienne Filler was forced to cull from the university's complete set (only one of 120 such sets in existence), accentuating Audubon's unique approach to his daunting, near- impossible task. Audubon wasn't one to shy away from the grotesque. In one print, a pair of sinister- looking black vultures pick at the head of a dead deer. In another, a bald eagle stands on a high perch, holding a dead catfish in its talons with other fish parts scattered about. A covey of Virginia partridges, in a third print, frantically scatter John James Audubon prints are currently on display in the "Birds of America" show at the University of Pittsburgh's University Art Gallery. (AP photo) as a hawk comes screaming into their nest. "He places the birds in their element. We have this kind of Darwinism," said Piller. "It was new. It was different. It was very exciting for viewers." But it was not cheap. From 1827 to 1838, Audubon sold his engraved, hand-colored prints through a publisher as a subscription series, with customers receiving five of the 26- inch-by-40-inch double elephant folio-size prints at a time. To complete the four-volume set, the cost was about $1,000 — a huge amount at the time, but probably a bargain compared to its worth now. A Rhode Island library, looking to auction off a complete set, expects to raise between $5 million and $8 million. The University of Pittsburgh's set, which was donated by the Darlington family, recently underwent a plate-by-plate assessment and restoration to repair tears, stains and even cigar ash smudges. Piller imagines one of the former owners bringing it out after dinner, smokes and brandy in hand, to show off the animated, real-life characterizations that would spark untold nature shows more than a century hence. It's not all drama, of course. Some of the plates — like that of the male wild turkey—are state- iy. A horned grebe, with black and russet plumage, looks like a surprised kitty. A solid brown pelican with one webbed foot lifted in the air, seems almost a dog pointing. Then, there is the downright tragic. According to Filler, Audubon was on a visit to Pittsburgh when he painted a pair of gentle blue- and-gray passenger pigeons in a mating ritual, the female feeding the adult male with her beak. A hunter and naturalist, Audubon wrote about how the pigeons — the population of which once numbered in the billions — were killed in immense numbers for food and sport and yet "no apparent diminution ensues." The last passenger pigeon died at the Cincinnati Zoo on Sept. 1, 1914. ' "Taking Flight: Selected Prints From John James Audubon's Birds of America," runs until Dec. 5. (On the Net: University of Pittsburgh's University Art Gallery: http:llvrcoll.fa.pitt.edu/uagl) Pair charged with animal cruelty JOHNSTOWN (AP) —A mother and daughter have been charged with hundreds of charges of cruelty to animals after authorities found rnpre than, J,pp. animals.alive.and niore than 147 dead 'on their small western Penm ' sylvania farm. • > > • <• ''• •' ••••• Police in Jackson-Township on Wednesday charged Rosemary Gillin, 81, and Erma Gillin, 56, both of Mineral Point, with 275 charges of cruelty to animals after the women were taken to a hospital and more | than'five-'dozen animals, including''do'gs,"' goats; geese and a ! cdw, were takeri'frbm'their" • farm last week; " • ' ' :•'.••».•. '->.i>-f • ' ' The Gillins did 1 not have a listed number and could not be reached for comment by The Associated Press. Rosemary Gillin's brother, Albert Gillin Sr., told The Tribune- Democrat of Johnstown he knew the women : 'had aninrals on the farm but didn't kh.ow ffijiv. 'many^THdworneri wdreHake'ri 'to tti'ehbsp'iKtl' after authorities'said they fotirid the Gillins living amid garbage and hundreds of living ' and dead animals. Symphony gets new president, CEO NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Symphony Orchestra'Presi- dent Lawrence Tamburri will step, down in December to take a similar post with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Tamburri, who has led me NJSO for 12 years and was responsible for its recent acquisition of $18 million worth of rare Italian string instruments, an- nounced his decision Wednesday. A Pittsburgh native, he replaces Gideon Toeplitz, who retired in June after 15 years. "Going home again ... it's a good time for me personally to make a change," Tamburri told The Star-Ledger of Newark for Thursday's editions. Under his watch, the NJSO doubled its budget, increased its subscriber base to more than 25,000 and moved into its new permanent home at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark. However, the orchestra is facing a budget deficit of more than $4 million. Tamburri, 52, will serve as president and chief executive officer of the Pittsburgh orchestra, which is considered one of the nation's leading ensembles. He earned $197,000 last year with the NJSO. The terms of his new deal were not disclosed. Tamburri's departure leaves the NJSO without an executive or artistic leader because it has not replaced Zdenek Macal, who stepped down as music director at the end of the last season. Prosecutors seek prison term SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean prosecutors on Thursday demanded a 7-year prison term for an American woman who they say killed a fellow U.S. student here two years ago. Kenzi Snider was acquitted by a lower court in June but is now facing an appeal from prosecutors in the Seoul Appellate Court. After a brief session where the judge asked lawyers on both sides for their final views, the case was adjourned until Oct. 14, when the verdict will be delivered, defense lawyer Kim Hong-kyoung said. He said the prosecution asked the court to reverse the lower court's decision and jail Snider for seven years. She had faced a maximum of up to 15 years in jail on the manslaughter charge. Snider, 22, a former Marshall University student from St. Cloud, Minn., is now living freely in Seoul with the help of a church. She was present in court Thursday and appeared in good spirits, Kim said. Snider was accused of beating to death 21-year-old Jamie Penich, a University of Pitts- burgh student from Derry Township in Westmoreland County, over unwanted sexual advances. Both were exchange students in South Korea at the time of the killing on March 18, 2001. She was arrested by FBI agents in West Virginia in February 2002 and sent here last October, becoming the first U.S. citizen to be extradited to South Korea. In acquitting Snider, the lower court refused to accept as evidence the confession she made to FBI investigators. Under South Korean law, confessions are only admissible if made to state prosecutors. Kim, the defense lawyer, said he has submitted his written opinions to the court, questioning the legality of a confession made to the FBI, and also presented as evidence reports by American and Korean psychologists, describing the confessions as forced. But the prosecution says the FBI's interrogation report should be adopted as lawful evidence, claiming that the report should be viewed as one written by prosecutors in South Korea. Car defect caused wreck EBENSBURG (AP) — Prosecutors have ruled out criminal charges against a teenage girl stemming from an accident that injured a mother of five after tests showed a defect in the car's steering caused the accident. But motor vehicle violations were filed against the driver, Alicia Farrell, 18, of Dysart, for driving too fast, careless driving and violating vehicle equipment standards. The charges were filed in connection with a June 8 accident in West Carroll Township, about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. Police said Farrell lost control of her car on a curve when she apparently oversteered reacting to a noise from the car, sending the car into Donna Abrams, who was weeding in her front yard. The accident killed Abrams' unborn son. "She reacted to the noise and the vibration" from the faulty steering, said Cambria County District Attorney Dave Tulow- itzki. R.D. 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