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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Erickson earns 2nd at world taxidermy eventFairmont Sentinel, August 30th
Erickson earns 2nd at world taxidermy event. August 30, 2015. Ryan Heuer - Sentinel Sports Writer , Fairmont Sentinel. Save | Post a comment |. At just 30 years old, Tyler Erickson has enjoyed more success as a taxidermist than even he imagined possible...Read more
KENNY BAYLESS: Choosing the Sarge for taxidermy a wise decisionTerre Haute Tribune Star, August 29th
As I was driving through the thriving metropolis of Burnett I noticed a sign in a front yard advertising Sarge's Taxidermy, so I stopped in to meet James Caldwell. James is a very sincere dedicated individual at anything he does, putting his heart and...Read more
Grizzly project: Huge bear a big, tedious job in local taxidermy shopCommunity journal, August 20th
This big trophy of a male grizzly bear has been a large presence in Heart O' The Hills Taxidermy recently, as shop owner Keven Kurz, right, and his co-worker Larry Johnson have turned a dressed hide into this full mount on a wheeled stand for a customer...Read more
Northern New England Taxidermy ChampionshipWCSH-TV, August 18th
NEWRY, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Northern New England Taxidermy Championship happened this month at Sunday River in Newry. Taxidermists stuffed and mounted everything from the traditional deer head to the more exotic sting rays. Around 30 ...Read more
Taxidermy Classes: All Guts and a Little GoryWall Street Journal, August 7th
The Morbid Anatomy Museum in Gowanus, Brooklyn, has what is almost certainly the only gift shop in New York that gives patrons a choice between a preserved cougar heart and a badger fetus. And, if a person has a few free hours and isn't too squeamish, ...Read more
Take down your taxidermy – it's a disgraceThe Guardian, August 6th
In London's Soho and elsewhere, taxidermy classes offer the ability to stuff your own “ethically sourced” mice for sixty quid, or a crow for £180. There's more than an echo of our colonial past in this trend (as some commentators have noted, Cecil's...Read more
Delta Airlines Will No Longer Ship Some Taxidermy From Africa -- But There Is ...Forbes, August 4th
In the emotional aftermath of the killing (possibly poaching) of the lion named Cecil in Zimbabwe by a dentist from Minnesota, Delta Airlines, America's largest carrier, has made a decision: “Effective immediately, Delta will officially ban shipment of...Read more
The Dying Art of TaxidermyHoustonia Magazine, August 3rd
If this giraffe were like most, he told us, eight months could pass between the time his company, Tri-State Taxidermy, acquired the dead animal and it left Cromeens's workshop, still dead but looking alive. It occurred to us that babies are born after...Read more