The Art of Book Design: Practical Taxidermy

Montague Browne. Practical Taxidermy. London: “The Bazaar” Office, 1878 — Source.

I have mixed feelings about taxidermy. On the one hand, it’s an interesting art form. It involves a lot of sculpture and the artist needs a good understanding of anatomy and the nature of the animal when it was animate. Taxidermists strive to make the animal look as natural as possible, even if they place it in an unnatural pose or place. It’s very multi-media and there are all sorts of little tricks they use to put things together and make them stay put. Fascinating, eh?

On the other hand, I think that displaying “trophy animals” on the wall or floor is disgusting. I once had a client who was a big game hunter. He had a tiger skin rug and a polar bear skin ‘throw’ on his sofa and hanging on his walls were the skulls of several big game animals. I know there was a moose and a big horn sheep, but I can’t remember what the others were. It was so sad and totally creepy and very unnerving and I had the devil of a time doing the assessment. On my way to the next home visit I had to pull over and catch my breath because I felt like throwing up. He was a pleasant enough man, but when I got back to the office I traded his case with a colleague who didn’t mind the taxidermy.


via: The Public Domain Review

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