The Image Hunter: On the Trail of John James Audubon, featuring the work of Italian artist Hitnes

The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art is pleased to offer a traveling exhibition entitled The Image Hunter: On the Trail of John James Audubon, featuring the work of Italian artist Hitnes. This announcement includes an updated tour schedule.

In late 2015, Italian artist Hitnes embarked on a twenty-city road trip throughout the United States with the goal of retracing the endeavors of John James Audubon in the 19th century. Audubon’s ambitious goal was to document all of the birds in the country. These well-known drawings made up his book The Birds in America. Captivated by the enormous scope of Audubon’s goal, Hitnes traveled across the country, aiming to cover in three months what Audubon did in as many decades. Hitnes’s journey on one hand allowed him to explore the state of the birds nearly two centuries after Audubon encountered them. But it also became an all-encompassing performance project in which he gathered materials and made sketches, created public murals, and documented his interactions with a wide range of Americans in video.

Hitnes’s exhibition documents his journey, elaborating on what it is that drives a person to dedicate multiple decades of their life to pursuing an obsession like Audubon did. The exhibition features a range of work informed by his own expedition, and he includes other objects and ephemera collected on his trek. 

Take a peek…

The exhibition is accompanied by a short film cut from a feature-length documentary on Hitnes’s journey, directed by filmmaker Giacomo Agnetti. 

Watch the short film here:

THE IMAGE HUNTER: ON THE TRAIL OF JOHN JAMES AUDUBON is available for eight-week tours for a $6,500 participation fee plus one-way shipping. 

  • Number of Works: 15 Shadow Boxes, 45 Miniature Etchings, 1 Book of Miniature Etchings, 5 Artist Sketchbooks, Project Paraphernalia
  • Dimensions: Varied
  • Space Requirement: 2,500 square feet
  • Participation Fee: $6,500 for eight-week bookings
  • Shipping Costs: Venue pays for incoming shipping
  • Insurance: To be carried by venue
  • Exhibition Signage: Label and wall text information in digital format
  • Supporting materials: Short video about the artist and 300 copies of the exhibition educational brochure
  • Programming: Artist is available for educational programming and public art mural projects at an additional cost. 


Historic City Hall Arts & Cultural Center

Lake Charles, LA

February 22 – April 26, 2019

High Desert Museum

Bend, OR

October 17, 2020 – January 3, 2021

Download the exhibition prospectus:

Visit the traveling exhibition’s website

Learn more about the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina:

To learn more about the exhibition and tour availability, please contact:

Katie McCampbell Hirsch

Curator & Director of Strategic Partnerships

Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art


Categories: Traveling Exhibitions