The Cincinnati Museum of Natural History is part of Cincinnati Museum Center. The Western Museum Society, organized by Dr. Daniel Drake in 1818, preceded it. The Western Museum Society's collection was built around ornithology, fossil zoology, geology, and Native American artifacts. The Museum's first taxidermist, John James Audubon, was hired in the winter of 1819 to do taxidermy, build collections, and create exhibits. Audubon supplemented his income by drawing portraits, teaching art, and running his own drawing academy. During his brief stay in Cincinnati, Audubon created five paintings of local birds that were among the first contributions to his acclaimed Birds of North America. He left Cincinnati in 1820 to travel and finish his collection of drawings that would make him one of North America's most revered and famous nineteenth century artists.