National Geographic : 1977 Feb
"I have a rival in every bird," wrote Lucy Bakewell Audubon (right), a fair assessment of her life with the wandering naturalist. Twelve years after Audubon's death, when short of funds, she sold the more than 400 bird originals to the New-York Historical Society for $4,000-an amount some indi vidual Audubon prints now command. Lucy resumed teaching at age 70 and died at 86. As a novice in oils, Audubon painted his sons, John (above) and Victor (right), in 1822. He hoped mastering the technique would bring portrait commissions to help finance his grand project-the folio. Yet even as it was being engraved, he wrote: "I do anything for money now a days-I positively... made 22 Pounds 10 Shillings by drawing trifles in a Scotch Lady's album." SAs young men, both sons joined what had become, in effect, the family firm-John as assistant artist, Victor as business agent. For all their labors, the Audubon family knew only brief periods of financial ease, and both brothers died long before their mother.