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
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Linton resident a winner in taxidermy contest at Southern Indiana Outdoor FestivalGreene County Daily World, October 20th
Ringo also was awarded second place in the furs division of the taxidermy contest. The festival, sponsored by the Tourism Commission of Sullivan County, was located at the Sullivan County Fairgrounds in Sullivan, a day-long event on Saturday. In...Read more
Caution: Rogue taxidermy is in seasonTwinCities.com-Pioneer Press, October 17th
Scott Bibus stands in the basement where he has a variety of taxidermy, creations mounted to his walls including an elk, left,l and a dead dog, far right, that he sculpted, then finished with latex and foam, at his Minneapolis home on Thursday, October...Read more
I learned to stuff animals on a taxidermy courseThe Guardian, October 17th
At the beautifully preserved Barts Pathology Museum, Amanda Sutton holds taxidermy classes where you can learn how to stuff a rat (and occasionally a squirrel, hamster or rabbit). I wanted to do it because I like filling my house with weird stuff, and...Read more
Hunterdon taxidermy business expands into booking hunting trips, selling firearmsHunterdon County Democrat, October 16th
Wyant, almost 63, grew up in Bloomsbury, and at age 10 began hunting on the Bethlehem Township farm of his grandfather, Howard Segreaves. At about age 13 he took a correspondence course in taxidermy, learning on squirrels that were plentiful but small ...Read more
Rogue taxidermy, at the crossroads of art and wildlifeMinneapolis Star Tribune, October 15th
Ah, where to start? Maybe (given the bloody fish head in the goblet) by noting that rogue taxidermists are fervent animal lovers. “As humans, we so rarely get to interact with animals on such an intimate level unless they're dead,” said artist Scott Bibus...Read more
When Taxidermy Goes Wrong (PHOTOS)The Weather Channel, October 15th
"A lot of people will point to old taxidermy and say it was poorly done, and although this may be the case sometimes, it is necessary to understand that technology, materials and the wide availability of information weren't anything like what they are...Read more
Women Are Dominating the Rogue Taxidermy SceneVICE, October 14th
When taxidermy became popular during the Victorian era, it was mostly men who hunted, skinned, fleshed, and stuffed the animals. History's roster of well-known taxidermists include guys like John Hancock (not the American revolutionary), Charles...Read more
Inside The Bizarre World Of Rogue TaxidermyCo.Design, October 7th
In Taxidermy Art: A Rogue's Guide to the Work, the Culture, and How to Do It Yourself, Robert Marbury introduces a world of bionic crocodiles, pigs in Chanel bowties, impalas with human faces, and polar bears climbing on refrigerators (get it?). Not...Read more