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The Magnificent Chicken: Portraits of the Fairest Fowl


Photographs by Tamara Staples
Chronicle Books
Feb 6 2013

With backyard chicken keeping and urban farming at an all-time high, the proudest of purebred poultry take center stage once again in this fully revised and expanded edition of the classic The Fairest Fowl, now retitled The Magnificent Chicken. Updated in hardcover with even more chickens and an enlarged resource section, this celebration of the wonder, peculiarity, and magnificence of championship chickens showcases more than 40 astonishing breeds in glamorous photos—many brand new—and informative text, while an introduction by Ira Glass explores the finer points of poultry shows and chicken portraiture.

Curiosity led Tamara Staples to photograph chickens. Almost twenty years ago her uncle first introduced her to the little known subculture of poultry shows. After visiting one show she quickly developed a fascination with the singular beauty and personality of the birds. That love led to her first book, The Fairest Fowl: Portraits of Championship Chickens (Chronicle Books), published in 2001. Her second book of chicken portraits, The Magnificent Chicken: Portraits of the Fairest Fowl is published by Chronicle Books.


Staples’s work has received numerous photography awards and her work has appeared in many national publications. She has been featured on NPR’s “This American Life” and on CNN, and is a regular contributor to the magazine Backyard Poultry. She lives and works in Brooklyn with her husband and son.

See more beautiful chickens here.

See the book here.