Art: Rare Birds

Oil paintings by Naturalist John James Audubon are as rare as ivory-billed woodpeckers. Perched on easels in the White House last week were ten of the rare species, a gift to the U.S. from Australian Refrigerator Manufacturer EJ.L. Hallstrom, who wanted to show his appreciation of U.S. help to Australia in World War II. The Hallstrom Audubons traveled to Australia years ago, when a great-grandson of the painter went Down Under to raise sheep. His heirs sold them to Hallstrom.

President Truman circled the exhibit, inspected five bird paintings, drew up short before a placid brown & white bull. He was never...

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