By Melissa Milgrom
It's effortless to brush aside taxidermy as a kitschy or morbid sideline, the area of trophy fish and jackalopes or an anachronistic throwback to the dusty diorama. but theirs is an international of intrepid hunter-explorers, eccentric naturalists, and proficient museum artisans, all dedicated to the paradoxical pursuit of making the semblance of life.
Into this way of life of insanely passionate animal enthusiasts ventures journalist Melissa Milgrom, whose trip stretches from the anachronistic kinfolk workshop of the final leader taxidermist for the yankee Museum of traditional background to the studio the place an English sculptor, granddaughter of a surrealist artist, preserves the animals for Damien Hirst's most annoying artistic endeavors. She wanders via Mr. Potter's Museum of Curiosities within the ultimate days of its lifestyles to monitor buyers vie for preserved Victorian oddities, and visits the Smithsonian's offsite lab, the place taxidermists remodel zoo skins into vivacious beasts. She tags besides a Canadian undergo trapper and previous Roy Orbison impersonator—the three-time global Taxidermy Champion—as he resurrects an extinct Irish elk utilizing DNA stories and Paleolithic cave paintings for reference; she even eventually alternatives up a scalpel and stuffs her personal squirrel. remodeled from a curious onlooker to an empathetic player, Milgrom takes us deep into the area of taxidermy and divulges its uncanny allure.