American Eagle: A Visual History of Our National Emblem

Eagle lovers will soon have a new book to celebrate along with the 30th anniversary of the National Eagle Center.

American Eagle: A Visual History of Our National Emblem by Preston Cook will be released in April. A survey of The Preston Cook Collection, it will be the only book covering the eagle emblem in American life and culture in such detail. National Eagle Center Executive Director Rolf Thompson provided the Foreword.

Beautifully photographed and illustrated, the book highlights some of the 25,000 eagle art and objects in The Collection that will be housed and exhibited in the National Eagle Center expansion. The book charts the bald eagle’s appearance in American life covering everything from military, war and politics to art, entertainment and travel.

When the National Eagle Center expansion is completed, visitors will see The Collection in permanent and rotating museum exhibits and galleries. Imagine an exhibit touring the eagle as seen in children’s entertainment like eagle toys, eagle banks, kites, comic books, candy prizes, and club badges decorated with outspread eagle wings. Or exploring how the eagle has been used by the US military to inspire, motivate and unify. Or the eagle in corporate logos, sports teams, place names, and even rock bands. Eagles in American life will be presented in awe inspiring new ways in the future National Eagle Center.

A preview exhibit of The Preston Cook Collection is currently in the second floor gallery. A new selection of Collection items will be on display in April 2019.

Special American Eagle Presentation and Book Signing

April 27th @2pm
at the National Eagle Center

Join us at the National Eagle Center for a presentation by Mr. Cook! Learn how it all got started, hear interesting stories behind pieces of The Collection, and gain new insight into the bald eagle’s role in American history and culture. This is a great opportunity to meet Mr. Cook, ask questions, and have him sign a copy of the book for you.


For 50 years Preston Cook has devoted his time to all things American eagle. He has amassed and meticulously organized a collection of more than 25,000 eagle objects — from kitsch to fine art, from the everyday to the rare — that reflect American life from the American Revolution to the present.

Cook has served on several government commissions and some twenty boards of directors, including for the American Bald Eagle Foundation, the Oceanic Society, and the Point Reyes Bird Observatory. He is a member of the Audubon Society, the National Eagle Center, and the Sons of the American Revolution, and is a life member of the American Bald Eagle Foundation, the American Legion, the International Federation of Fly Fishers, and Trout Unlimited.

Cook’s collection has been donated to the National Eagle Center. Proceeds from the sales of his book, American Eagle: A Visual History of Our National Emblem, will be donated to the National Eagle Center to help fund the museum that will house the collection.

A retired real estate investor, Cook lives with his wife in Wabasha, Minnesota, on the banks of the Mississippi River, a major flyway for the bald eagle.

For more information, please visit The Preston Cook Collection website.

Photo by Blake Darst

PRE-ORDER the book today!
Available in April 2019 wherever books are sold.

To order a copy signed by Preston Cook:

Please pre-order the book through the National Eagle Center by clicking the button below. Signed copies of the book will be available in the National Eagle Center gift store in April. Sales of the book through the National Eagle Center will support the development of the museum.

Any questions concerning orders should be directed to [email protected].