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

Off topic: Grumps and details, rogue taxidermy, sad songs, new baseball stats
SiliconBeat, October 22nd

Details, details — Grumpy people supposedly get them right, and happy-go-lucky people ignore the fine print. Photos of crocheted skeletons, a Ferris wheel of chipmunks and more at a Rogue Taxidermy Fair in Brooklyn. Why do some of us listen to sad...Read more

When taxidermy goes wrong: bizarre examples of animal art compiled in new book
Daily Mail, October 21st

Kat was initially just looking for cushions, but she soon found that taxidermy went a lot further than that. Her findings kicked off a popular blog with people all over the world submitting their own spots of 'Crap Taxidermy' - which has now become the...Read more

Linton resident a winner in taxidermy contest at Southern Indiana Outdoor Festival
Greene 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 season 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

Rogue taxidermy, at the crossroads of art and wildlife
Minneapolis 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 Scene
VICE, 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 Taxidermy
Co.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