The Woman Who Shot Elephants for America's Natural History Museums

Delia Akeley is probably best remembered as a "wife-of," having spent two decades married to famed taxidermist and conservationist Carl Akeley. But Delia was a fascinating adventurer in her own right, an early primatologist, anthropologist studying the pygmy peoples of Belgian Congo, and skilled museum-backed… » 11/17/13 10:00am 11/17/13 10:00am

When they're off duty, these natural history museum exhibits find…

Photographer Klaus Pichler gained access behind the scenes of the Museum of Natural History in Vienna and captured the exhibits while they aren't on display. What he found were striking and often amusing views of sharks out of water, unexpected collections of cobras, and prehistoric humans stored alongside classical… » 2/03/13 7:30am 2/03/13 7:30am

Operation Dumbo Drop Gone Terribly Wrong: How to clean a giant elephant…

Check out the 1933 staff of the American Museum of Natural History pressing the wrinkles from their giant Elephant hide. The New York Museum has released a collection of stills showing the prepping, cleaning and mounting their giant Elephant exhibit. It's actually quite delightfully demented. » 12/05/12 8:40am 12/05/12 8:40am

We all missed the greatest eBay auction of all time

This honor goes to "Mummified Cat Slam Dunking A Mummified Bird," which up until recently was for sale for a discount $750 buy-it-now price (via Geekologie). Because if there's anything that distinguishes you as an individual of taste and distinction, it's a barf-out effigy of Bastet schooling Horus on the basketball… » 9/27/12 11:30am 9/27/12 11:30am

The Remarkably Detailed Art of Taxidermy

The Hall of North American Mammals is one of the American Museum of Natural History's most iconic exhibits, thanks to its stunningly presented animal models. In this brief but informative video, senior museum artist Stephen C. Quinn describes some of the lesser-known methods that taxidermists use in preparing these… » 9/25/12 5:00pm 9/25/12 5:00pm

Gruesome shadow art transforms garbage and mummified rats into severed…

Sculptors Tim Noble and Sue Webster use metal scraps, taxidermied animals, and other detritus to create immensely foreboding scenes hidden within unassuming silhouettes. For example, that sculpture at top — British Wildlife (2000) — consists of "88 taxidermy animals; 46 birds (35 varieties), 40 mammals (18 varieties),… » 3/13/12 6:40pm 3/13/12 6:40pm

Dr. Seuss taxidermy is equal parts disturbing and charming

Sculptor Carl Turner has created a series of half-realistic, half-fantastical mounted animal heads that were seemingly poached out of a Dr. Seuss book. According to Turner's back story for this project, these extinct specimens were acquired by zoologist Erasmus P. Jiggins and Sir Bartholomew Scoffer during an 1863… » 2/13/12 7:00am 2/13/12 7:00am

Anthropomorphic taxidermy: the art of making dead critters have fun

The latest installment of the eccentric Midnight Archive web series focuses on Sue Jeiven, an anthropomorphic taxidermist who creates tableaus of dead animals having a jaunty, decidedly human time, à la famed British taxidermist Walter Potter. Watch how one practices the near dead art of making dead kittens whimsical. » 10/01/11 9:40am 10/01/11 9:40am