Stuffed, stitched and studied: taxidermy in the 19th century

Dorcopsulus macleayi (Miklouho-Maclay, 1885), NHM.381

Dorcopsulus macleayi (Miklouho-Maclay, 1885), Port Moresby, PNG. NHM.381. Radiograph: Australian Museum.

Taxidermy is the process of making a life-like sculpture of an animal from its own skin. To make an elephant one needs a wooden frame, a fish needs gentle stuffing, a kangaroo needs stuffing and wire too; for a caterpillar a small glass tube, a candle and cotton is required. This exhibition explores the methods and purposes of Australian 19th century taxidermy made for science.

More about taxidermy

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Taxidermy licenses
The legal status of taxidermy in NSW.

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The art and science of taxidermy
Kirsten Tullis talks on techniques of modern taxidermy.

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Conserving our Taxidermy
Taxidermy conservation in the Horniman Museum and Gardens.

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Taxidermy at Tring
Derek Frampton talks about how he became a taxidermist and the secrets of his craft.

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Converting a mount to a study skin
Reverse taxidermy at the Natural History Museum, London.

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John Gould: His Birds and Beasts
Kenneth Spencer Research Library online exhibition, The University of Kansas.

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Lewin: Wild Art - Banksia beauty
Jude Philp talks on insect collections.

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Lewin: Wild Art - Yellow-tufted honeyeater
Jude Philp talks on natural history illustrations.

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Lewin: Wild Art - On Eucalyptus Bombyx vulnerans
Jude Philp talks on preserving caterpillars.

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Lewin: Wild Art - Invoice of goods delivered on board the Buffalo for Mr J. W. Lewin
Jude Philp talks on provisioning collectors.

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Short film: Le Taxidermiste
This is the story of an old woman who wants to pay her last respects to her husband.

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Short film: Dead famous
The beauty of taxidermy is that it always paints a positive, if not better portrait of something that once existed.

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Short film: The Breathless Zoo
A chat with Rachel Poliquin about her book "The Breathless Zoo: Taxidermy and the Cultures of Longing".

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Short film: "Death and Taxidermy" Welcome to Bridgeville Documentary Series
Meet Ben Kraus, taxidermist. He carries on his father's unique art.