Taxidermy evolved out of the tanning trade, whose practitioners preserved the skins of animals for use as clothing and blankets. In the early part of the 19th century, some of the first so-called trophy animals were crudely stuffed with scraps of fabric by upholsterers. Later in the Victorian Era, the art of taxidermy as we know it today evolved, pioneered by, among others, Carl Akeley, who worked at the Milwaukee Public Museum, the Field Museum in Chicago, and the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Although Akeley was one of the leading innovators of taxidermy, excelling in the realistic mounting of mammals, later in his life he would reject the practice of bagging animals such as gorillas just so they could decorate a museum diorama, let alone a hunter's study. By the end of his life, Akeley had devoted himself to protecting these creatures—Africa's first national park was established in 1925 in no small part due his efforts.

Today, collectors of taxidermy have a range of animals and pieces to choose from. Gameheads are perhaps the most well known form of taxidermy. These include zebras, kudu, and other African animals whose heads are attached to pedestals that are designed to hang on a wall.

In the United States, the practice of mounting deer heads is very common, especially if it's a buck with a full rack of antlers. Complete animals known as full mounts tend to be of smaller species such as bobcats and fox, as well as skunks and raccoons.

Mounted fish is another popular taxidermy type. Birds from peacocks to pheasants to roosters mount well, too, as do quail and falcons.


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Recent News: Taxidermy

Source: Google News

Chicago artist Mickey Alice Kwapis teaches her own homemade TAXIDERMY ...
Daily Mail, January 22nd

But the craze for the gruesome hobby of stuffing and posing dead animals, has been growing in recent years and now fans of the macabre art can learn to do it for themselves. Mickey Alice Kwapis began teaching her unique taxidermy classes to the public ...Read more

Wounderland Is a Creepy Series of Surreal Photos Using Taxidermy
Bloody Disgusting, January 20th

I feel like I just entered The Neverending Story, Labyrinth, Dark Crystal or Return to Oz in these series of images by Mothmeister, a taxidermy collector & curiosity cabinet. First discovered by Bored Panda, Mothmeister explains the creeptacular art...Read more

Learning taxidermy skills
DL-Online, January 16th

Lake Park-Audubon teacher Shelly Becker has designed a class focusing on a variety of biology topics. One popular one is taxidermy, where students learn to stuff and mount a bird. SUBMITTED PHOTO ...Read more

Step inside Nebraskan's taxidermy business to see its global reach
Omaha World-Herald, January 15th

Barry Johnson has been a taxidermist for 44 years. He and his wife, Sheila, work together to create lifelike animals and habitats, including three giraffes. Posted: Thursday, January 15, 2015 11:49 am | Updated: 1:45 pm, Thu Jan 15, 2015. Step inside ...Read more

Eerie Yet Gorgeous Scenes Make Taxidermy Spring to Life
Wired, January 12th

The taxidermy and old-school dioramas of natural history museums often seem stuck in time. A tribe of neanderthals hunts on a plain, forever stalking unseen prey. Alien-looking sea creatures explore the ocean's depths. Wild beasts of every description...Read more

Traveling taxidermy teacher brings knowledge ? and rats ? to St. Petersburg
Tampabay.com, January 11th

Kwapis travels the world, from Iceland to Toronto, teaching people the outs and ins of taxidermy. She's Internet famous for her patter and artsy, if quirky, displays of the animals afterward: Think bunnies decorated with pink bows or mice lounging in...Read more

Taxidermy as a trend: Making art out of dead animals at Curious Gallery 2015
OregonLive.com, January 10th

Their life was gone, but their bodies will live on, carefully dissected, stuffed and preserved by a ragtag group of DIY taxidermists, gathered for a hands-on workshop in Portland on Saturday – part of Curious Gallery, a festival dedicated to museum...Read more

'Wonder cabinet' festival blossoms in Portland, with DIY taxidermy and curious ...
OregonLive.com, January 7th

Last year's inaugural festival was small but broad, bringing in displays of offbeat taxidermy and collections of rocks or bones. She said this year's event will make an effort to refine what the modern wunderkammer will be about, breaking it down into...Read more