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

Anatomy of a Taxidermist
Daily News & Analysis, August 30th

But head to the sanctuary's Wildlife Taxidermy Centre, and chances are you will be bombarded by a plethora of smells ranging from glue, clay, shaved wood, and a hint of polyurethane. 41-year-old Dr Santosh Gaikwad, the driving force behind the centre...Read more

Worst Stuffed Animals Ever Showcased in New Book 'Crap Taxidermy' (PHOTOS)
Huffington Post, August 26th

A lot of people in the taxidermy world would like to stuff a woman named Kat Su. She's the creator of a website called Crappy Taxidermy , which focuses on the most bizarre and awful examples of stuffed creatures she can find. There's the brown bear...Read more

This Badass Lady Taxidermist Stuffs Her Animals And Eats Them Too
Huffington Post, August 26th

More specifically, she's a taxidermist. Yes, stuffing and mounting dead animals is Kaye's passion and pastime. And after hearing the young artist wax poetic on the powers of restoring a once living thing to its former state of beauty, it's easy to see...Read more

Bad taxidermy - welcome to the world of grinning cats, pistol-packing opossums ...
Mirror.co.uk, August 25th

Grinning cats, pistol-packing opossums and balloon-like horses – welcome to the hilariously horrific world of bad taxidermy. Displaying stuffed animals on your mantelpiece or mounted on the wall was all the rage in Victorian times. A dead deer or posed ...Read more

Guess what they found in record-setting Stokes Gator's stomach; taxidermist ...
The Huntsville Times - al.com, August 22nd

AUTAUGAVILLE, Alabama -- Ken Owens has skinned and mounted an untold number of wild animals at his Autaugaville taxidermy shop. This week, he put his knife to what is believed to be a world-record alligator killed on the Alabama River during this ...Read more

Behind The Taxidermy Renaissance, Roadkill And A Little Imagination
NPR, August 16th

Taxidermy is becoming more popular amongst a certain crowd — not only for preservation or adornment, but also to create fantasy animals.Laura Securon Palet wrote about it for the online magazine Ozy. Copyright © 2014 NPR. For personal, noncommercial ...Read more

Art From Death: Taxidermy As A Creative Hobby
NPR, August 9th

"Taxidermy is having a massive comeback," says Jo Shears, fashion designer and animal stuffer. Why the sudden interest in a craft that has not been really popular since the 1800s? "It really fits with the trend for vintage and is really popular with...Read more

Edible Taxidermy: It's a Good Thing
Daily Beast, August 5th

That's what 6,000 people did last weekend during 23-year-old taxidermist Elle Kaye's “edible taxidermy” masterclasses at the Feast food festival in the Docklands area of London's East End. Chef Alex Armstrong prepared the meal for participants while...Read more