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Taxidermy Tour: Behind the Scenes and Private Collection

MORBID ANATOMY PRESENTS:


We are very excited to announce a special taxidermy tour this September with opportunities to view rarely seen Walter Potter tableaux as well as private collections, historic mansions and 19th century museums–front and back stage. The tour will be organized and led by Dr Pat Morris, taxidermy historian and foremost collector of the work of eccentric Victorian taxidermist Walter Potter.

We will also pay several visits to Dr Morris’ home, where we will see rarely seen Walter Potter pieces including one of his most famous tableaux, The Death and Burial of Cock Robin (1861) (above and bottom center) along with pieces by Hermann Ploucquet (bottom right), Rowland Ward and Peter Spicer; thousands of documents and photographs; and copies of all the books on taxidermy published in Britain (some not even in the British Library!) and a selection of works from other countries.

You will find more information below; Space is limited to only 9 people. If you are interested, please email us at morbidanatomy [a] gmail.com before July 26. More detailed information, booking form and request for a deposit will be mailed to you with a deadline of mid August to confirm your participation.Taxidermy Tour: Behind the Scenes and Private Collection Taxidermy Tour with Dr Pat Morris, Taxidermy history expert and author of Walter Potter’s Curious World of Taxidermy
September 3-9, 2018
London and environs
$2000-$2200 (Exact number given when we determine the number of attendees; Includes hotels, transportation within the UK, museum admissions, and some meals. Attendees will be responsible for their own airfare to and from London.)
Trip limited to 9 plus 3 staff members.
Please email us at morbidanatomy [a] gmail.com before July 26 if you might be interested in joining. More detailed information, booking form and request for a deposit will be mailed to you with a deadline of mid August to confirm your participation.

Please join us this September for an exclusive taxidermy tour featuring rarely seen Walter Potter pieces as well as private collections, historic mansions and 19th century museums–front and back stage–led by Dr Pat Morris, taxidermy historian and foremost collector of the work of eccentric Victorian taxidermist Walter Potter. He will be assisted by Joanna Ebenstein, creator of Morbid Anatomy and co-author and lead photographer on Walter Potter’s Curious World of Taxidermy, and Laetitia Barbier, Morbid Anatomy head librarian.

On this trip. we’ll pay several visits Dr Morris’ home, where we will see rarely seen Walter Potter pieces, including one of his most famous tableaux, The Death and Burial of Cock Robin (1861). We will also see the tableau A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed; Potter’s stuffed pet cat and dog, and his first piece of taxidermy, a canary along with rare archival materials, books, magic lantern slides, and ephemera related to the Potter Museum.

The Morris Collection also contains pieces by around 150 taxidermists, including Hermann Ploucquet, whose anthropomorphic pieces delighted Queen Victoria and probably inspired a young Potter. There are also pieces by British taxidermists Rowland Ward and Peter Spicer; thousands of documents and photographs; and copies of all the books on taxidermy published in Britain (some not even in the British Library!) and a selection of works from other countries.

We will also visit the home of professional taxidermist Barry Williams, which houses his personal extensive collection of historic specimens. We will see him at work, and join him for afternoon tea while we enjoy a tour of his collection.

The trip will also feature special guided tours by Dr Morris of the UK’s most historic and fascinating natural history collections, such as Tring Natural History Museum, opened in 1892 to make available to the public the private collation of rich eccentric Lionel Walter Rothschild; The Booth Museum of Natural History, founded in 1874 and featuring pioneering ‘habitat group’ displays from the 19th century; The Horniman Museum, founded to showcase the Frederick John Horniman personal collection ‘illustrating natural history and the arts and handicrafts of various peoples of the world’ from around 1860 (with a visit to the Museum’s store to see the beautiful Hart collection of British birds); The Grant Museum of Zoology, one of the oldest natural history collections in the UK famous for its jar of moles and rare specimens such as a qyuagga skeleton, preserved Tazmanian Tigers, and dodo bones; the London Natural History Museum a 19th century ‘cathedral to nature’ housing its infamous hummingbird cabinet; The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art and Natural History, which presents the world displayed through wonder enclosed within a tiny space, inspired by the pre-enlightenment origins of the museum as Wunderkabinett; and The Saffron Walden Museum with a small natural history collection dating to 1832 and ‘Wallace’ a famous lion. There will also be a stop off to experience “human taxidermy” in the form of the auto-icon of Jeremy Bentham.

There will also be special guided tours of two magnificent National Trust historic mansions: Calke Abbey; this is a huge mansion originally built in the 12th century as an Augustinian priory and housing a varied collection of stuffed birds, mammals, fossils, and other natural history oddities gathered by a succession of the eccentric owners who lived there over the centuries and Audley End House, a mansion built in the early 17th century and housing the second largest display of historic country house taxidermy open to the public in Britain including many spectacular ornamental bird case

Some evenings may be devoted to talks by Dr Morris on topics such as ‘historical taxidermy’ and the massive Van Ingen factory in India illustrated by pieces from Dr Morris’ collection.

First posted: Friday, July 20th, 2018.

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