I've put together a series of pictures of more of the work of Louis Paul Jonas, from both the AMNH and his own studio.
First, a little background on the man himself ...
Louis Paul Jonas (1894-1971)
A native of Budapest, Hungary, Jonas immigrated at age fourteen to work with his older brothers at their taxidermy studio in Denver, Colorado. Jonas was later selected to assist Carl Akeley at the AMNH, and attended the National Academy while in New York. Jonas assisted Akeley in the mounting of the African elephants and contributed taxidermy works to both the African Hall and the Hall of Asian Mammals, where, most notably, he mounted the central pair of Asian elephants. In 1930 Jonas established his own studio.
Since the subject of his unbelievable mount of Phar Lap was mentioned in another post, I thought I would start with that.
Phar Lap while still back in Australia. Here he is "ridden" by "Cappy" Telford, son of Phar Lap's original trainer, Harry Telford.
Let's begin where Phar Lap ended ... in the winner's circle of the taking the Aqua Caliente Handicap, with his second and last, trainer ... Tommy Woodcock. After the Aqua Caliente, Phar Lap fell mysteriously ill, and died. A mystery that is still
hotly debated! Theories have come and gone, and keep on coming ... but the mystery remains!
This is Phar Lap as he stood in the Melbourne Museum. He has since been moved to a newer museum.
After measuring, making a death mask, other feature castings, and skinning, Phar Lap's skeleton was cleaned, preserved and set up for an armature. That's Louis Paul Jonas packing out the horse's rib cage with paper.
Workers begin to remove the plaster mold from the clay model of Phar Lap.
Removing the head section from the clay model. I nice way to insure a perfect reproduction of a truly individual horse!
Take it from someone who has laid up his fair share of paper mannikins ... you do not
hold the mold up like this! But ... the camera needed the shot, and back then, cameras were not very portable!
Louis Paul Jonas placing surface veins on the Phar Lap mannikin.
The Phar Lap mannikin, shellacked and ready to receive the tanned hide.
Hide paste is liberally applied to the prepped mannikin, and as well, applied to the hide!
Phar Lap's tanned hide is carefully placed on the mannikin.
The final finishing touches are applied by Mr. Jonas.
Phar Lap is brought around the track to where an eager crowd awaited the arrival of "The World's Greatest Galloper!" But first ...
Some well earned publicity photos with the man who "brought him back to life" ... Mr. Louis Paul Jonas -- Taxidermist Extraordinaire!
The great Phar Lap ... a great success in museum taxidermy method ... bid his final farewell at Belmont Racetrack, before being shipped back "home" to Australia, where he was already mourned as a National Hero!
One of Louis Paul's many projects at AMNH was the Indian Gaur ... a massive breed of wild cattle standing some six-feet high at the shoulder!
Armature set up ...
Modeling the massive clay body ...
The final mount in its Diorama!
I hope you enjoyed this.