C.A. Seward

1884 - 1939

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In 1925, the Meadow Lark was voted the official state bird by the school children on Kansas Day.  In 1931, The Audubon Society of Kansas commissioned a painting of the Western Meadowlark from C.A. Seward. This painting was then reproduced by McCormick-Mathers Company of Wichita, Kansas. The intent was to place at least one of the “said large reproductions in every school in the State of kansas and in other institutions in which the purposes of the Audubon Society of Kansas may be furthered.” 

The contract was for 4000 large reproduction prints of this painting and for this Seward was to receive $1000. This sum was payable with a deposit of $500 and the payments of $100 per month for the balance commencing in August of 1931 and continuing until the balance of $1000 was paid.  The agreement continued with the allowance that the Kansas Audubon Society could have further reproductions of both a large and small size of the painting made in the future with a royalty payment of 10% to go to Seward for any future sales beyond the initial 4,000.


Kansas State Bird

Common Name - Western Meadowlark

Scientific Name - Sturnella neglecta

State Bird

Kansas, 1925

& also



North Dakota




The meadowlark is one of the most characteristic birds of the North American grasslands.   One of the two species, Western or Eastern (Sturnella magna), may be found in meadows and fields from one coast to the other and from the Canadian prairie to Mexico.   The Western Meadowlark prefers drier grasslands and the Eastern chooses more moist situations.  Only the Western is found west of the Great Plains.   East of the Great Plains, the Eastern predominates although the Western has recently extended its summer range into the Great Lakes region and the Ohio Valley.

Meadowlarks are members of the blackbird family.


Seward - “The Western Meadowlark”

Images on this page (top to bottom, left to right): Large reproduction print (16 1/2” x 13”) of Seward painting titled “The Western Meadowlark,”  certificate given by the Kansas Audubon Society, Seward lithograph - “Blackbirds,” 1930.

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