The Return of Taxidermy

The blog at Collector’s Weekly, a vintage and antique site, recently posted a long and interesting post about how taxidermy is making a big comeback. It had fallen out of favor after the 1940s (along with the decrease in the popularity of hunting). But now it’s popping up at stores like Urban Outfitters and Juicy Couture (really) and hip restaurants and bars. Stuffed animals are increasingly being used by decorators, and a bunch of books on the subject are coming out.

Nouveaux taxidermists believe this resurgence in interest is due to people’s craving for something real and a connection to nature in our increasingly disembodied, online lives.

Taxidermy’s comeback has an unfortunate trendy, hipster vibe–it’s popular amongst cool urbanites who are looking for stuff that’s “authentic.” Real hunters have pointed out the irony in the fact that many young collectors of old taxidermy pieces are also anti-hunting. And there’s a new movement of hobbyists who call themselves “rogue taxidermists” (really), who adhere to a no-kill policy and use road kill, animals that died of natural causes, discarded livestock, and “nuisance” animals like rats.

My dad was a game warden and I grew up around taxidermied animals at his office. They weren’t something used to comment about modern animal abuses or as a tribute to the mysteries of the Victorian Age. But hey, there’s nothing more hipster than turning on something because it gets popular! So I still think taxidermy is cool.

Are there any modern taxidermists out there? You should write a guest post for us!

Read the whole article: Taxidermy Comes Alive! On the Web, the Silver Screen, and in Your Living Room (@Collector’s Weekly)

PS–The article covers aspects of taxidermy you didn’t even know existed, but it fails to mention Chuck Testa! I will right this wrong:

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Eric September 29, 2011 at 12:03 pm

I remember my dad talking me downtown to the old district of the city I lived in when I was five years old or so to a law office. The office was a small two story house with the bottom floor minus the kitchen used as an office space and the top as the home for the family. There is a big sign above the house which read “Taxidermist!” with the man’s name attorney at law in much smaller letters. While my dad was talking with him, I wandered the house looking at the different stuffed animals and being amazed at how lifelike they were. I even reached out to touch an owl on a perch only to discover that it was actually alive and quickly ran to my father. The lawyer laughed and said he always got a kick out of the fact that he had trained the owl so well to always pull that trick and seeing peoples faces when they realize that it is the only animal that was real and meant that others thought his work was truly lifelike.

Ryan February 20, 2013 at 11:20 am

Hi There I recently enherited a bengal tiger carpet, by far the nicest looking one ive seen so far. A taxedermus has looked at it and thinks its anywhere between eighty and one hundred years old. Was just wondering your thought on the matter and if you or somone you know might be interested.


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