Thursday, July 16, 2009

Chicken art in the New York Times

Today’s New York Times has a great article on a chicken artist:

HOME & GARDEN July 16, 2009
At Home With Hope Sandrow: Feathering Her Nest
The artist Hope Sandrow keeps a flock of chickens at her Long Island home, turning most of her day-to-day activities into an evolving fowl-focused art installation.

Hope’s Web site is She knows her first rooster as a Paduan, another name for Polish chickens, mentioned in several other posts on this blog in the past.

The site focused on Italian chicken breeds,, tells the story of the varying names this way:

"The first crested chickens seem to have been introduced in Italy around the end of the Fourteenth century. Marquis Giovanni Dondi dell'Orologio, struck by the rare beauty and elegance of these chickens “resembling flowers,” is said to have brought them from Poland, which would explain how come Paduans are also known under the name of Polish, a denomination used also by Mr. Darwin. The Dondi family received their title from John the Third, King of Poland. The old friendship with the Polish royal family was the reason why these large-crested chickens arrived to the city of Padua, where Marquis Dondi proudly kept them in his family estate. A famous medicine doctor and astronomer, Marquis Dondi cultivated the friendship of several celebrities abroad. Thus, in the Sixteenth century the so-called Paduan chickens reached Flanders and Brabant (Fracanzani C. L. ,1996; Périquet J. C., 1994, 1995)."

I have not been able to locate his references, but he is in Italy, a professor at University of Parma, so perhaps those references are European and not generally available in the U.S.

On November 26, 2008, I blogged about another Italian, Andrea Mangoni, who contacted me about his Polveraras, a related crested breed. Andrea is writing a book on the breed and has a web site,, and a blog,, devoted to them. It’s in Italian, but the pictures require no translation!

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