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

OWLS: Inside the world of taxidermy
Newton Daily News, August 3rd

This month's program is on the art of taxidermy. The group will be joined by local taxidermists Bob and Denise Christian. They will share with us the tedious process of turning a prized catch or trophy animal into a lifelike mount. The Christians will...Read more

Michigan taxidermist recreates football rivalry
U.S. News & World Report, July 30th

In a photo form July 29, 2015, stuffed chipmunks "play" an MSU vs. UM football game in Nick Saade's taxidermy shop in Lansing, Mich. Saade said these are nuisance chipmunks who were trapped in cabins up north. He doesn't like to see anything go to ...Read more

Inside the Namibian taxidermy factory which stuffs more than 6000 animals a ...
Daily Mail, July 29th

Working just outside the capital Windhoek, he and his 45 support staff will stuff your elephant for around €38,000 (£27,000) and is the type of organisation that is the likely destination for Cecil the lion, who was killed in Zimbabwe. Taxidermy is...Read more

Move Over, Taxidermy: Contemporary Design Gets Lighter and Cleaner
New York Times, July 29th

For years, design in New York and elsewhere has been dominated by the “new vintage” look, with its love of taxidermy and salvaged barn wood, its nostalgia for dark hunting cabins and 19th century gentleman's clubs. What design insiders are seeing...Read more

Taxidermy leads to state, national titles for St. Anne teen
Kankakee Daily Journal, July 23rd

Cheyanne Williams, 16, of St. Anne, with the mounted river otter that has won her acclaim in annual competitions held by taxidermy associations in Illinois, Indiana and Tennessee. Her father, Frank Williams, recently opened a new taxidermy and archery...Read more

Taxidermy leads to state, national titles fo St. Anne teen
Kankakee Daily Journal, July 23rd

Cheyanne Williams, 16, of St. Anne, with the mounted river otter that has won her acclaim in annual competitions held by taxidermy associations in Illinois, Indiana and Tennessee. Her father, Frank Williams, recently opened a new taxidermy and archery...Read more

Photos: 15 More Taxidermy Fails That Will Make You Cringe
OutdoorHub, July 20th

In the world of taxidermy it can be quite hard to tell what is a joke, and what is simply an awful mount. Unlike our previous taxidermy fail lists, the 15 critters below are neither overtly funny or downright frightening. They just make us cringe a...Read more

A Backstage Pass to the Super Bowl of Taxidermy
Wired, July 6th

Despite his mixed feelings, he says events like the World Taxidermy Championships exposed him to a culture that he's come to appreciate. “It was really good fun,” he says. “You might think maybe they're strange or morbid people, but they're really very...Read more