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An Open Letter to Carl Akeley

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by Joe Kish, Jul 1, 2016.

  1. Joe Kish

    Joe Kish Well-Known Member

    For the record:

    Here's a direct quote from my post No# 65 on July 7.

    "Posters critical of the editorial and/or its writer made valid points about the content and style of the piece itself. In my final draft the phrase slicker’n pig snot was severely pejorative. I can’t claim the devil made me write it. I alone am responsible. Connotations of slick and snot can never be associated with James Newport or his work. Saying the piece had no artistic merit whatever is where I must eat my own words. I’d rather eat crow. It won in the gamehead category. For that I apologize to you James Newport and to your friends and supporters.

    Postings in support of James Newport and his entry unequivocally reinforce the high esteem the posters hold for the man and his work. As far as praise goes for the superb mouth work on that little pig, good clean mouth work is commonplace at every show. Responses unfavorable to the pig scene itself focus on the entry and do not question the impeccable character and integrity of the man himself.

    While this editorial was initially shocking or wounding to James (or his pride), he suffered no injury at all. His fine reputation remains untarnished....."

    Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.
  2. Allie

    Allie Active Member

    More for the record:

    Akeley is not the Father of Taxidermy, as he did not invent it. Like James Brown is the Godfather of Soul, Akeley is the Godfather of Taxidermy. This is fact and undeniable, so don't even try.

    Dada was followed almost immediately by surrealism, and to some it is interchangeable. Meret Oppenheim, arguably the Godmother of Surrealism, created this object, and therefore could arguably be also considered the Godmother of Rogue Taxidermy.
    Man Ray, considered both a dadaist and surrealist, is one of my favorite artists and a great inspiration. I recommend his autobiography. Many things he said are appropriate to this conversation:
    "A certain amount of contempt for the material employed to express an idea is indispensable to the purest realization of this idea."
    "A creator needs only one enthusiast to justify him."
    "The streets are full of admirable craftsmen, but so few practical dreamers."
    "There is no progress in art, any more than there is progress in making love. There are simply different ways of doing it."

    This has been a great, fun and entertaining thread, so thank you Joe and others who have contributed. Make taxinet great again!

  3. Skywalker

    Skywalker Well-Known Member

    Just looking at that cup makes me feel like I have a hair in mouth! "A creator needs only one enthusiast to justify him". You just made Elvis Costellos day!
  4. 1fish2fish

    1fish2fish Well-Known Member

    Recommend TTAI indiscriminately award the Kish Medal for "Artistic Impressionism." I trust he can see the humor. Impressionistic musings about realism, ha!

    The Akeley award can then be reserved for recognition of the biggest SOB, though I doubt he's even a grandfather in that category.
  5. catman

    catman Active Member

    I hate to even get involved with this mess, but Carl Akeley was the first person credited to sculpt a mammal out of clay over an armature, molding it, thus creating a manikin. He is tagged as the father of modern taxidermy. Now Modern taxidermy has evolved and maybe some would consider his methods outdated. All I know is that he called it art. Also his techniques were passed on to many others including James L. Clark who I consider the cream of the crop. His lion group sculptures in my opinion are the standard by which all cat manikins are measured. Even to this day with all that has bee handed down, none have even come close. I know to some a hairy bowl and spoon may be captivating, and maybe there is a niche for such things.
    I am not a historian of art and Yabba dada doo is all new to me, but any mammal taxidermist, this incudes the Jonas brothers (not those Jonas brothers) Joe Kish, James Newport, all of us are direct descendants of Carl Akeley. Should we worship him? No, can we acknowledge his contribution and fork out a few bucks for a big granite monument hoping to have our name stamped on a brick or put on a plaque in hopes of somehow being immortalized in association with him? Perhaps. Immortalized may be overkill.
  6. Museum Man

    Museum Man Well-Known Member

    each and every one of us is a creator and contributor.....creating our own style and vision, and contributing to the ongoing future of taxidermy (in whatever form that may be) throughout the coming decades and hopefully century's.....
  7. Carolin Brak-Dolny

    Carolin Brak-Dolny Active Member

    Has the use of the Akeley name become hero worship?

    Definition of hero worship; foolish or excessive adulation for an individual
  8. catman

    catman Active Member

    no more than Lombardi or Blackshaw.
  9. Carolin Brak-Dolny

    Carolin Brak-Dolny Active Member

    When someone says they won an Akeley award, I automatically think they won a medal at the World Taxidermy Competition.

    Now you can win one at the NTA and even in Texas. And you can win a Akeley gorilla cast at every show that asks for one. At least that is what I understand.
  10. Joe Kish

    Joe Kish Well-Known Member

    I thought this topic would have played out by now. I wish it soon will because I have other more interesting and immediate topics I intend to bring up. Since it hasn't....

    I wrote about the subject of criticism in an editorial in Taxidermy Review in 1977 titled – Criticism, A Question of Maturity, - The value of constructive criticism and honest evaluation.

    That was back when TR was the ONLY public forum for taxidermists when immediate and lively discussions were impossible.
    I recall that editorial received no responses beyond the regular flack from the old guard NTA board members who always felt threatened by national standards, me or both. Despite the passage of 40-odd years, human nature hasn’t changed and won’t.

    But THIS forum DOES provide a quick and easy way for thoughtful people to influence opinions. It’s unfortunate that it also provides a convenient playground for intellectual midgets and their toadies to parade their ignorance.

    Like some of you, I collect quotes not only for the wisdom they hold but in the hope that someday a little of that wisdom just might rub off on me. Here’s some favorites that seem apropos about now.

    "When people think you make them think, they will like you, but when you really make them think, they will hate you." - Don Marquis

    “The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.”—Bertrand Russell

    “The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.” -
    A. Einstein
  11. catman

    catman Active Member

    That's rich. One of my favorites goes something like this.
    It's the stuff you learn after youn lnow it all, that matters.
  12. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    "Never Miss a good chance to shut up", Will Rogers.
  13. Skywalker

    Skywalker Well-Known Member

    Make the most of yourself because that's all there is of you. -Emerson
  14. Museum Man

    Museum Man Well-Known Member

    i may not be as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was........my dad
  15. Benjamin Franklin — 'We do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing!'
  16. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    Here are a couple that I found and like that I think fit in here. I'll post them up and then let this fade.

    "No matter how educated, talented, rich or cool you believe you are, how you treat people ultimately tells all, integrity is everything".---unknown

    "The only thing more dangerous than ignorance is arrogance". ----- Albert Einstein.
  17. Anyone who Has never made a mistake , never tried anything new . Albert Einstein

    You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. Dr. Seuss
  18. EA

    EA Well-Known Member

    Don’t be against things so much as for things.

    Colonel Sanders
  19. antlerman

    antlerman NTA Life Member #0118

    You can't fix stupid.

    George Roof
  20. Jerry Huffaker

    Jerry Huffaker Well-Known Member

    Stupid is as stupid does

    Forrest Gumps mamma