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Taxidermy Comes Alive!

The art of taxidermy has seen a resurgence in the past decade, after falling out of favor some fifty years ago. Lisa Hix of Collector’s Weekly studied the phenomenon, and talked to quite a few new-wave taxidermists, including Robert Marbury of the Minnesota Association of Rogue Taxidermists.

Marbury, now based in Baltimore, says he believes Internet culture revived interest in taxidermy, and not just because of eBay.

“The Internet’s become a cabinet of curiosities,” Marbury says. “You can search to your heart’s content and find really bizarre stuff, filling your computer with JPEGs and GIFs. In many ways, it parallels the traditional cabinet of curiosities, where you have these explorers going out and grabbing anything they could for their Wunderkammers (wonder rooms) in their houses or for museums. In a sense, we’re all walking around with that on our phones now. If you want to collect it, you can find it. I think it desensitizes us a little bit.”

His theory goes something like this: In the early 2000s, people started spending so much of their time in their heads, staring at computer screens, that they felt compelled to collect real, tactile objects that brought them back into the physical world—such as animals that were once alive, with soft fur or feathers, leathery hides or scaly skin, smooth horns and teeth, and even traces of decay that make a connection to the soul of nature and a long-gone past.

Learn what’s different about taxidermy this time around, and find plenty of links to online taxidermy collections and resources, at Collector’s Weekly. Link

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Date
September 28th, 2011

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Stranger to the World

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