The Stubblefields
Michael and Elyn Stubblefield on the archipelago of Svalbard in arctic, Norway. (Photo courtesy of Michael Stubblefield)

Michael Stubblefield to virtually show art collection to community on Oct. 26

Oct 22, 2020
Kathryne Davis
One of the images in the Stubblefield's collection featuring two birds
One of the images in the Stubblefield’s collection. (Photo courtesy of Michael Stubblefield)

Art and science take flight this month as Brenau University welcomes avid nature photographer, birder and art collector Dr. Michael Stubblefield for a virtual evening of discussion and discovery.

“The Evolution of Scientific Bird Art with Dr. Michael Stubblefield” will be held from 6:30-7:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 26, via Zoom. The event is free and open to the public.

During the exhibition, Stubblefield will speak about artwork from his collection of personal photographs and historical prints that include the natural world and, specifically, the birds among us. He will use artwork from his collection to discuss the beginnings and development of ornithological art and its most important historical figures.

The evening will showcase art from the 1700s to modern times to demonstrate how much art and artists’ views have evolved. This event serves as a preview for an on-campus display that Brenau will be doing in an upcoming exhibition season with the Stubblefield collection.

“I’m hoping that the exhibition will give a greater appreciation of not just the natural world around us,” Stubblefield said, “but how we got our knowledge about the natural world, and how art is absolutely intertwined with what we know today.”

Originally, Stubblefield was going to share his work in person this fall, but the coronavirus forced the event to move to a virtual format.

“The show will go on again when the world can come back out and play,” Stubblefield said. “But right now, it’s actually very fun to do it this way.”

Brenau’s Permanent Art Collection via the Arader Art Fund has been able to grow thanks to the Stubblefields, who provided funding for the purchase of numerous botanical prints. Many of the artists and works that Michael Stubblefield will be discussing on Oct. 26, have parallels in Brenau’s own collection.

Stubblefield’s natural history images and articles have appeared in hundreds of publications all over the world, and he has won several awards for his photography and writing. The Stubblefields have a collection of well over 100,000 images that include hundreds of species of birds as well as mammals and fish.

“I’m going to be showing several extinct birds,” he said. “The children of the people at Brenau today are going to live into the 2100s. And sadly, we’ll certainly be looking at some of the birds that are in these collections that can be seen easily today in the right place, but won’t be here then. There’s a message of conservation, along with the thrill of discovery and the beauty of art.”

In addition to photography and writing, Stubblefield is a medical director of cancer rehabilitation at the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in West Orange, New Jersey, and the national medical director for Select Medical’s ReVital Cancer Rehabilitation Program in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. He earned his bachelor’s in biology and philosophy from Brown University and his degree in medicine from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Stubblefield is also triple board certified in the fields of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation as well as the editor of “Cancer Rehabilitation: Principles and Practice,” the only comprehensive textbook on cancer rehabilitation.

“We are so excited to work with Dr. Michael Stubblefield on the upcoming event about scientific bird art,” said Nichole Ferguson, director of Brenau University Galleries. “Dr. Stubblefield’s passion for this subject is truly contagious, and I know that our community will admire the charisma and expertise with which he shares his presentation. Dr. Stubblefield has been a strong supporter of the university for several years now, and we are tremendously grateful for all the ways that his generosity continues to manifest.”