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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Collection of taxidermy and prehistoric curios to be auctioned in SussexDaily Mail, November 22nd
If you're looking for something unique to brighten up your living room, you might opt for a statement rug or even consider embracing the current craze for taxidermy. But anyone making a purchase from the Evolution sale at Summers Place Auctions in ...Read more
Wyoming sculptor captures the art of taxidermyBillings Gazette, November 21st
"I am trying to capture a moment, the spirit and form of the animal," said Connelly, 58, who is originally from near Pittsburgh, Pa., where his father operated a taxidermy shop. The medium is polyurethane foam. That substance is also used in upholstery...Read more
Surreal Taxidermy Gets Suspended in a Plexiglass LabyrinthThe Creators Project (blog), November 20th
Canadian artist David Altmejd experiments with an unconventional form of display in his latest sculpture installation at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark. The Flux and The Puddle is a 50 square meter glass box display case. Enclosed within ...Read more
Scout Q&A: Viral Taxidermy Star Chuck TestaScout, November 19th
The owner of Ojai Valley Taxidermy in California, he became famous after posting a commercial for his business on YouTube. Currently the video (see above) has over 16 million views. Now, Keystone Light beer has teamed up with Testa to launch “The Hunt ...Read more
Central Florida Taxidermy Business Working On Bears And Continuing A Family ...WMFE, November 19th
At least one taxidermist told us he didn't want anything to do with bears from this hunt. Another was keeping his work quiet because he's worried about his family's safety. That taxidermist pointed to threats licensed bear hunters were getting from...Read more
605 Studios: Reimagined Taxidermy ArtKSFY, November 17th
You might want to call it an antique store; but you would be wrong. It's more a collection and source of inspiration for making very unique art. The window reads vintage relics and odditites, you'd be hard pressed to find a more perfect description for...Read more
Taxidermy a popular option for huntersPratt Tribune, November 13th
Whitetail deer season, open for archers now and for firearm hunters in December, can keep a good taxidermist in business for most of the year. Taxidermy — the preparation of an animal mount — is very popular within the hunting industry, according to...Read more
A Very Quiet Menagerie: Taxidermy At The Carnegie Museum Of Natural History90.5 WESA, October 29th
The diorama is the world in which a taxidermy mount exists. Mounts can stand alone, but placing them in habitats was the trend in the 1970s, when Pat Martin started working at the museum as chief preparator. To build accurate habitats, Martin traveled...Read more