Taxidermy

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As a child growing up and going to the zoo you never really imagined death of an animal, unless of course you had a domestic animal of some sort that has passed away.  There are many things that are done with animal remains and taxidermy is one form of physical afterlife for animals. The word Taxidermy is Greek, meaning the classification of skins and was adopted by craftsmen and specialists who were able to preserve an animal by first removing the skin and then mounting the pelt onto a wireframe model made from plastic, clay or a similar material that allows for the animal to be posed.  Taxidermy was established thousands of years ago by the Egyptians when they buried animals along with mummies, pharols, etc.  In the more recent years Taxidermy has establish itself as a form of art in some people’s eyes.  During the Queen Victoria era (1837–1901) mounted animals became popular part of interier designing and decor.  The gentlemen who is considered the founding father of taxidermy John Hancock an orinthologist, opened an exibit in The Great Exhibition to display all his avid collection of birds.  Taxidermy has come a long way in the past years and its not uncommon to see a deer’s head mounted on the wall of someone’s house.  This artwork may be considered as animal cruelty to some people.  Some animals are killed for this specific reason and in my opinion it is not morally right. Give me your intake on it? is it art?

Jaleo Gibbs

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7 thoughts on “Taxidermy

  1. I do consider it to be a form of art. I don’t know if you have seen or heard of it, but they had a big exhibit at The Museum of Science and Industry on just that, except that it was all human related. To be able to take something apart and to be able to put it back together in a different way and still be able to tell what it was is its own form of art. Its also a good way to study the animals that its done to.

  2. Interesting topic. I never really thought of it as an art, but I’d say it is. It definitely is not as easy as skinning and stuffing; the people who do it well are skilled craftsmen. I’m a total animal lover, but a good piece of taxidermy that captures an animal’s majesty can definitely be awe inspiring. That being said, when taxidermy goes wrong, it can be really unpleasant to look at.

  3. I never thought of taxidermy as art before but I believe that it can be. As far as I know, museum pieces are made from animals that have died naturally. This not only takes talent but is used as a teaching tool; this type of taxidermy I can appreciate. What I do find appalling is when people go on safari to kill animals as trophies. These beautiful creatures are often in confined areas and don’t stand a chance. Personally, I would love to go on a photographic safari some day. To me, printing and framing these pictures would be a much better form of art than killing another living creature.

  4. When a person looks at a painting some may feel an emotion towards it while others will feel no different. I feel when people see taxidermy they all can’t help but to wonder in awe. What happened to the animal, how were they able to do that (posing and stuffing the animal)…etc? That fact that this animal once lived and now is basically a statue of sorts is well sort of…sad. I think the reason why people are drawn to have taxidermy is the fact that it has an animalistic, raw nature to it. That we as humans have power over these beasts. I don’t know that’s just my theory. I personally don’t like or see anything appealing about taxidermy, I just see death hidden as a decoration/entertainment. I’m a firm believer in the “circle of life” and that everything deserves to have a resting place after they pass, not in mid pose for everyone to see. *cues the opening song from the Lion King* AHHHHHHHHH ZABEEEENNNNNYYYYAAAA!

  5. I consider taxidermy to be an art, some say its contraversal, others don’t and its intresting how people manage to stuff the animals to make them look life like. I know hunters make money of off this too.

  6. Very interesting topic Jaleo, I personally wound’t think that this was a form of art, but after reading your blog and doing some research I think and I do believe this can be expressed as a form or art. I know that for some or most people will considered this as cruelty and unfair for animals, but also agree not that, I think this process of preserving the skins of the animals is okay, if and only if the animal is already death by natural reasons. Unfortunately, nowadays this is something that it is not happening, as you mentioned on your blog, it is very common now to see a deer’s head mounted on the wall of someone’s house, but this is because people are hunting and killing animals for this reason, to create art. I don’t think this should be acceptable anywhere and it should apply to any animal species. On the other hand, if the animal is already death, then it is a great idea to perform this process and preserve the animal’s skin with the help of a professional taxidermist, since there is still more work than just taking the skin of an animal and putting it on a fixture or mold. They still have to design the eyes of the animal with glass or other material, they have to fix the imperfections on the already death skin by applying chemicals and create the mannequin where the skin is going to be place. Due to the additional work that taxidermists have to do in order to obtain a finish product, I will consider this a form of artwork. Great job on your blog.

  7. I would have to say I defiantly feel taxidermy is a form of art, as well as a method of education. Animals play a huge part in art and what better than to look at the real deal! Its not everyday you can just walk up to a tiger and look at all the details of the animal. And well that’s pretty neat! This is a way to appreciate the beauty and complexity of different types of animals. Now… I would not like to see the process of taxidermy, but I would appreciate being able to examine an animal that you wouldn’t have a chance otherwise.

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