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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The Art of Taxidermy: What It's Like to Immortalize a ChickenModern Farmer, October 2nd
At Brooklyn's Morbid Anatomy Museum hands-on taxidermy classes fill up with students for whom challenging themselves to skin and pose a deceased animal sounds like fun. Flower arranging and cooking classes already checked off the personal ...Read more
Keystone Light Is Using the Web's Most Famous Taxidermist to Sell BeerTIME, September 28th
On Monday, Keystone Light released a commercial to promote hunting season featuring owner of Ojai Valley Taxidermy and YouTube celebrity, Chuck Testa, that encourages consumers to keep an eye out for a special white can hidden in select orange ...Read more
Southern cooking, weird wine and taxidermy at Hatchet Hall in Culver CityLos Angeles Times, September 23rd
Imagine an old dining room (mirrors and silver and taxidermy) somewhere in the Deep South, update it and move it a few miles from the beach. There's a private dining room, a cozy bar in the back and an outdoor patio. There are half the seats that there...Read more
Taxidermy shop to open year aroundNews-Press Now, September 19th
Taxidermy shop to open year around. Story · Comments · Image (2). Print: Create a hardcopy of this page; Font Size: Default font size: Larger font size. Previous Next. 150919_pearson. Submitted photo ...Read more
The Very Best Of The Very Worst Utterly Tragic Taxidermy AttemptsPopdust, September 18th
Some people just can't let go of their beloved pets—even after they've passed away they just can't quit loving them. Loving them so much in fact, that they have them skinned, stuffed and mounted, so they can stay by their side until the end of time...Read more
Museum uses taxidermy donation to create new exhibitWDBJ7, September 8th
Gregory Speck donated 230 taxidermy pieces to the Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville. Now, those pieces are being put to use. Show Transcript Hide Transcript. to a story we brought you back in december, about an unusual donation from a ...Read more
For decades, a family's small business has depended on death and taxidermyPress Herald, September 8th
Derrick Powell, taxidermist and co-owner of Master Taxidermy Studio in Ocoee, Fla., does detail work on a Florida black bear. The shop has been in the same location for more than 40 years. Powell said that the bear was captured and euthanized as a ...Read more
Why a millionaire New York socialite gave his 400-member taxidermy collection ...Washington Post, September 4th
No animal in his 400-member taxidermy collection had been harder to acquire than that bird, which is known for its elaborate mating display. “When I was in New Zealand —,” he said, then paused. “No, I'll start first with when I was in Russia.” Many of...Read more