Taxidermy Live

As part of the exhibition Death, British artist Rose Robson takes up residence at SHOWstudio for two days to showcase her unique take on taxidermy. Drawing inspiration from natural history books, Robson will create a swarm-like sculpture from a range of different bird carcasses. Watch the video of her work from the first cut to the final piece online here:


Beginners Taxidermy Tutorial! 

Always wanted to try your hand at taxidermy?  If you live in London, here is your chance!  On June 30th, Amanda's Autopsies will be offering a beginners tutorial at the fantastic Grade II Listed Pathology Museum on St Bart’s Hospital campus.

Participants will be working on a mouse. All equipment and light refreshments will be supplied, ie: no need to bring your own mouse.  Lessons start at 1pm and work through to 5.30pm. 

The class will coincide with the last week of the “Therianthropy” art exhibition which documents the interraction of animals and humans, within medicine, through the ages and comprises work of local artists such as Dan Hillier and Kitty Valentine.

Tickets available here:


Taxidermy takes to the Boards

If you happen to be in Philadelphia, make sure you catch “Buridan's Ass" by S. R. Plant on at the Iron Age Theatre. It's on March 27th and 28th.

Here is a short blurb:

"Ever since an aquarium explosion forced him to choose between running to the aid of his stricken girlfriend and saving the life of a floundering turbot, Mahone the taxidermist has suffered from Buridan’s Ass Syndrome - a fear of making decisions.

His business is doing so badly that he is no longer able to pay his young assistant, Ernest, and his hopes of impressing a certain French lady by expertly stuffing her badger are shattered when Ernest informs him that the creature’s pelt has set rock solid. And inside out.”

For more information:


Upcoming Exhibit: Fashioning Feathers

If you're in the Edmonton area, make sure to check out this upcoming exhibit: "Fashioning Feathers" curated by Merle Patchett and Liz Gomez.  It showed at the FAB Gallery in Edmonton last year, but will be opening at the Royal Alberta Museum in March.


Read more here:



This Object has been Removed ... 

This cheeky series of signs were designed by Christina Davis and Jen Bervin to be placed among the specimens at the Harvard Museum of Natural History.  The installation was part of the annual HMNH event  “Bizarre Animals: An Evening of Contemporary Art Interventions” during which artists present works in response to the museum’s collections.

Read more about the event here:

See more signs here from Christina Davis' flickr account here:


Fantastic Mr. Fox 

Claire Morgan's Fantastic Mr Fox is taxidermied and poised among a perfect cube of nylon and fishing hook-suspended, lead-weighted pieces of torn black polythene… and rotted rabbit meat.



Auctions you've already missed ... 

And while on the subject of auctions (see below), I just came across an auction that happened last year in Dorset, England when the Isle of Wight Wax Works Museum and Animal World (also known as The Brading Experience) closed its doors to the world. The place must have been something of a wonderworld of strangeness considered the contents of the auction lots making up the "Brading Collection of Taxidermy, Waxworks, Costume and Similar Items."  A sampling for you:

 Read more about the sale in the Daily Mail at


Taxidermy Auction - Shabby Chic! 

For all you lovers of vintage taxidermy, here is the auction for you!  Pierre Berge & Associates in Brussels are selling off an astounding collection of pieces.  Here is just a sampling:









 View all the lots at


Betty Spackman

Not officially taxidermy, but if you happen to be in and around the Lower Mainland area of Vancouver, check out Betty Spackman's exhibit "Found Wanting." I haven't seen the show myself, but it consists of 43 forty relic boxes filled with animal bones variously found or given to the artist.  The animals on exhibit are mainly domestic animals that are consumed as meat or tranformed into other "useful" products for human use.  The exhibit is meant to offer both a reality check and a lament for human ingratitude towards the animal world, the misuse of animals, and the human greed for ever more.

The exhibit is on until March 27th, 2011 at The Reach - the gallery museum in Abbotsford.  For more information visit


Curiouser and curiouser 

If you happen to be in Rhode Island, check out this exhibit at the Museum of Natural History and Planetarium. CURIOUSER: New Encounters with the Victorian Natural History Collection, conceived and curated by Erik Carlson and Erica Carpenter, asks six artists to engage with the museum's collections in order to create new original installations in the Museum's lobby gallery.

Above is an image of Jennifer Raimondi's "Comfort," a stuffed fawn covered in more than 700 paper moths. (Dawn Marie Temple/Bellaria Designs Photography). Read Cate McQuaid's review of the exhibit here + in the Boston Globe.  Visit the museum's website here +


Come here me talk at the Beaty! 

I will be giving two talks at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum on the UBC campus this weekend.  Talks are at 2:30 on both Saturday and Sunday, and the talks are on the subject of ... well, what else but taxidermy.  If you haven't already been to the Beaty, this weekend is a great opportunity.  The cafe will be open, various children's programs will be underway, and you get a little dip into the strange world of taxidermy.  Find out more on the Beaty's website here

Here are a few visual tantalisers that may be included:


5th Annual Carnivorous Nights Taxidermy Contest

"The beasts are back! Calling all science geeks, nature freaks, and rogue geniuses!" Such is the call for the 5th Carnivorous Nights Taxidermy Contest hosted by the Secret Science Club and held at Bell Hall in Brooklyn.  Prizes go for best taxidermy whether bought, found, or homemade, biological oddities, articulated skeletons, skulls, jarred specimens, plus categories you couldn't even imagine.

The contest will be judged by including Robert Marbury of the Minnesota Association of Rogue Taxidermists; Dorian Devins, co-founder and curator of the Secret Science Club; beast mistress Melissa Milgrom, author of Still Life: Adventures in Taxidermy, and Mike Zohn, star of the new show Oddities on the Discovery Channel.

Entrants: Contact to pre-register. Share your taxidermy (and its tale) with the world!


Z is for Zebra

On now at the King Street Gallery in Syndey until December 11th is Rod McRae's exhibition "The Heart of the Matter," which explores the human impact on the animal world.  Using only animals which have died naturally or were ethically sourced, McRae's exhibition addresses a number of issues in condensed taxidermic form including hunting culture and the meat industry.

''This is not a show about taxidermy, this is a show that uses taxidermy specimens to talk about the environment … for people to have empathy for the animals so that they feel something for them - a sculpture in bronze doesn't pull at the heart strings like animals do,'' McRae said in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald. Read article here +  See more images on the gallery page here +   


Maurizio Cattelan's cat cage

This just sent in from a reader.  See a few close-ups here + Thanks Eric! 




Museum: Walter Potter at the Museum of Everything

Seven years after it was sold and dispersed across the world, Walter Potter's collection is being reassembled in an exhibition co-curated by Peter Blake.  The displays are being assembled at the reopened Museum of Everything, a pop-up museum in a former Victorian dairy, and  later recording studio, in Primrose Hill, London.

Damien Hirst, who built his international fame on creatures such as his shark, and Sir Peter Blake, who is co-curator of the exhibition, have each lent pieces for the show. Both regard Potter as a genius, and his work as a national treasure which should have been kept together for permanent public display.  Read more here +


Exhibit: Snake Shades

SHADES DOWN IN TOKYO TOWN: An exhibition of crazy eyewear featuring snake glasses by Iris Schieferstein along with Henrik Vilskov, ManfreDu Schu, and others. Artists were commissioned by HEDMANKLING to create sunglasses for imaginary fantastical character.  The exhibition is currently on show at Calm & Punk Gallery in Tokyo and will turn to Long, Gothenburd, and Stockholm in 2011.  Visit the fabulous for more information.   


EVENT: Melissa Milgrom at AMNH

If you happen to be in New York this week, make sure to check out a taxidermy event at the American Museum of Natural History.  Journalist Mellisa Milgrom AMNH museum taxidermist Tim Bovard will take you behind the scenes at the museum to explore the alluring world of taxidermy.  They'll discuss the Museum's world famous dioramas and how Taxidermy relates to contemporary art, conservation and the new Age of Mammals hall. Read more about the event here +

As you probably already know, Milgrom has written extensively on the strange world of taxidermy and has recently published Still Life: Adventures in Taxidermy which you can purchase on my reading list here +.


Beaty Biodiversity Museum

Over the last six weeks or so, I've been working at the soon-to-be-fully-open Beaty Biodiversity Museum at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.  The museum is unusual in that it both houses the research collections of UBC's various biological faculties while also opening those same collections up to the public.  Visitors have the opportunity to look into the actual storage units and meander through the maze of cabinets housing 500,000 specimens of plants, algae, fungi and the like, 600,000 specimens of bugs, beatles, and butterflies, more shells that you could count, 40,000 specimens of land vertebrates, 800,000 fish specimens, and over 20,000 fossils from around the world. 

The highlight of the collections until the museum opens (and probably afterwards too) is a beautifully articulated skeleton of an enormous - and I mean ENORMOUS - blue whale that hangs in the atrium of the museum's entrance.          

So what have I been doing?  Something far less impressive than that whale.  You see those little windows down below?  Well, I've been making sure that what's inside is worth the look.  Those windows are scattered through out the museum (which extends in rows and rows and rows of cabinets behind) are little windows into the beauties, oddities, rhythms, and ruptures that make up the diversity and balance of the natural world around us.  Unfortunately the window reflection makes picture-taking difficult.  Mine didn't turn out nearly as nice as these photographs by Dean Chura and posted on flickr here:


The museum will be hosting a series of free previews with talks and tours throughout the summer, so if you are in Vancouver, be sure to check it out.  The entire museum will be open in the fall.  Find out all the details of preview events here + 



EVENT : Milgrom's Aventures in Taxidermy

Still Life: Adventures in Taxidermy

Author talk and gallery social with Melissa Milgrom
Members Free / Nonmembers $20

Thursday, March 18, 6:00 PM

The Harvard Museum of Natural History is home to some of the country’s oldest and most varied collections of taxidermy animals. Join them for a gallery social and talk by author Melissa Milgrom, whose new book Still Life, delves into the colorful world of eccentric naturalists and gifted museum artisans who create the illusion of life through taxidermy. Books will be available for purchase and signing following the talk. Advance registration required. RSVP to   or 617.496.6972.

Read a review of Milgrom's book in the New York Times.


EXHIBIT : Bone of Contention

If you happen to be in Berlin over the next few weeks, make sure to check out Iris Schieferstein's new works in her solo exhibition The Bone of Contention on until March 27th. 

Snakes oozing out of a woman's mouth and around her breasts, naked bodies shrouded in taxidermy, horse hoof shoes, chimeras, plaster pistols and penises ... as always, Schieferstein's work is unsettling, strangely erotic, fantastical, and intensely, intensely provocative.  

Open the Exhibition Portfolio to see more of Schieferstein's exhibition here: