My interest in taxidermy began as a fascination with the aesthetic side of the natural sciences. In a sense, taxidermy presents the perfect blend of art and science. It offers an exemplary case of how, when the two come together, they create something totally unique, frequently wrong, and altogether compelling.
What is taxidermy? Art, nature, or science? Something happens when the three occur together, and this blog is part of my larger investigation to figure out what precisely that something is.
Ravishing Beasts began as part of my post-Doctoral Fellowship in the History Department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).
The project included three parts: this blog, a book, and an exhibition. The book, The Breathless Zoo: Taxidermy and the Cultures of Longing was published by Penn State Press as part of their new Animalibus series. The exhibition, Ravishing Beasts: The Strangely Alluring World of Taxidermy was curated at the Museum of Vancouver using the museum's own almost forgotten natural history collection and received an international attention from Wallpaper magazine to Readers’ Digest.
For more on me, my writing, and various projects (I'm more than taxidermy!) please visit me at www.rachelpoliquin.com.
Also, feel free to contact me with your opinions and sightings at firstname.lastname@example.org. But a word of warning, I receive many e-mails. I try to respond to every one, but sometimes it takes me awhile.
And please note, I am a writer, not a taxidermist. I won't be able to answer your questions on how to stuff your dead cat or where to buy the best eyeballs. I also can't offer any help on how to buy or sell your various taxidermic desires and discards.