To celebrate its 100-year anniversary, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has commissioned Ink Dwell to paint a 70’ x 40’ mural titled “From So Simple a Beginning: Celebrating the Evolution and Diversity of Birds.” The mural will depict the 375 million year evolution of birds, from the 30-foot long Yutyrannus, ancestor of the first feathered dinosaur, to the tiny marvellous spatuletail hummingbird. More than 260 species will be represented, all painted to scale.
The mural is the last of three works the lab has created for its centennial. Maya Lin created a Sound Ring, a freestanding wooden oval speaker that plays the calls of extinct animals—part of her “What Is Missing” series. James Prosek painted a silhouette mural depicting birds of the Americas over five distinct ecosystems.
This ambitious project took more than 12 months of development and will take 14 months of on-site painting, requiring the artists to complete an average of one bird per day. When completed this will be the only mural in the world depicting all 230+ modern bird families in one place.