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Phar Lap and Louis Paul Jonas!

Discussion in 'Taxidermy History' started by LordRusty, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. LordRusty

    LordRusty If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

    5,658
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    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.
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    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!
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    This is Phar Lap as he stood in the Melbourne Museum. He has since been moved to a newer museum.
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    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.
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    Workers begin to remove the plaster mold from the clay model of Phar Lap.
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    Removing the head section from the clay model. I nice way to insure a perfect reproduction of a truly individual horse!
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    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!
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    Louis Paul Jonas placing surface veins on the Phar Lap mannikin.
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    The Phar Lap mannikin, shellacked and ready to receive the tanned hide.
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    Hide paste is liberally applied to the prepped mannikin, and as well, applied to the hide!
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    Phar Lap's tanned hide is carefully placed on the mannikin.
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    The final finishing touches are applied by Mr. Jonas.
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    Phar Lap is brought around the track to where an eager crowd awaited the arrival of "The World's Greatest Galloper!" But first ...
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    Some well earned publicity photos with the man who "brought him back to life" ... Mr. Louis Paul Jonas -- Taxidermist Extraordinaire!
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    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!
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    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 ...
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    Modeling the massive clay body ...
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    The final mount in its Diorama!
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    I hope you enjoyed this.

    John.
     
  2. Nyati

    Nyati I love tahr huntin

    Cool post. Phar Lap was born and bred here in New Zealand and we've got the skeleton in a museum in Wellington. Aussie got the mount which looks to be a real work of art.
     

  3. aussiesam

    aussiesam I'm an Australian.

    That mount is my earliest child hood memory of our Museum.
    His heart is in the Canberra mueum too.
     
  4. great post'
     
  5. Great Post! I'm really enjoying these looks back at the greats! Keep them coming!
     
  6. wow that is amazing!
     
  7. Nyati

    Nyati I love tahr huntin

    I've just been to the Te Papa museum here in Wellington and thought I'd take a photo of Phar Lap's skeleton to share.
     
  8. that was excellent, what an art!
     
  9. Russ of V.O.W.T

    Russ of V.O.W.T my Ken Edwards moment

    now THAT was a truly amazing and informative post John, thanks for putting that up for those of us who had never seen it could learn from it, Russ
     
  10. JSeiler

    JSeiler Active Member

    Wow Jonas was one amazing artist thanks for sharing john. Is this the same guy wow did those elephants you posted awhile back?
     
  11. LordRusty

    LordRusty If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

    5,658
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    Yes. Louis Paul Jonas mounted the Asian Elephants for the American Museum of natural history. He also mounted the Asian Gaur, seen in the additional photos here. Those Asian Elephants are really something else! The African herd done by Akely and Rockwell are no slouches, but there is something extra in the lifelikness exhibited by those two Asian Elephants! I'm glad everyone has enjoyed the posting!

    Nyati ... thanks for the image of Phar Lap's skeleton! Truly inspired!

    John.
     
  12. WOW!!! That is way cool. What great and time consuming work. Those guys studied anatomy like no one I know. I wonder what he was paid for the whole job?? Thanks for sharing, Steve
     
  13. Ron B

    Ron B Life Sucks.....Then comes the death roll!!!!

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    That makes me wonder why I even try. Incredable!!
     
  14. Rowland Ward

    Rowland Ward New Member

    John,
    Is the bald man in photos 10 and 11 John Jonas?Another of the brothers.
    RW
     
  15. franchi612

    franchi612 New Member

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    Thank you for the beautiful post. It brings tears to my eyes. I've always admired Phar Lap and would give anything to go back in time and see him perform. A truly amazing animal he must have been, especially in light of the modern American TBs that many can barely muster 1 1/16th without a breakdown of some sort. I think it is wonderful his memory has been so artfully preserved for generations to come. He will never be forgotten.
     
  16. LRB

    LRB Member

    That was a wonderful post !!... :)....Thank You !!.. :)





    MaryLou~~