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"Woman's Work!"

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by John Janelli, Apr 9, 2017.

  1. John Janelli

    John Janelli New Member

    For the rest of the story, you'll have to read for yourself about the amazing life of America's first woman taxidermist - Martha Maxwell (1831 - 1881)


    Or you can just log on to this link for a brief yet incredible glimpse into a woman who literally proclaimed to the world just how proud she was to be a taxidermist;


    Before you say this should be posted in the much appreciated Taxidermy History section here, it truly spans two eras of our industry! Yes, it began with Martha Maxwell (1831-1851), but it all came alive again in Florida this year, that is to say, the Florida State Taxidermists Association Inc., under the distinguished leadership of President Trina Pritchard, when they elected to present the very first annual Martha Maxwell Award exclusively for women taxidermists. More than ever before, our own women artists need to be recognized in taxidermy not just for their personal achievements, but for the excellence with which those achievements are realized.
    For the woman, Mrs. Theresa Durham, who took home the first ever Martha Maxwell Award, know this - Martha Maxwell was never given due credit, recognition or respect from any of her peers for the amazing innovations she brought to our industry. She championed wildlife conservation before the term was ever coined. In addition to her taxidermy skills, she is also credited with discovering a new to science species of owl during her life time. There was only one other iconic taxidermist who could claim such a find, but our Martha, like most women of her era, were taught to walk behind men, never in front of or even side by side. Like you Mrs. Durham, she developed her own style and technique of working that in fact many of her male counterparts envied or tried to copy. The methods she devised were her servants, not her masters.
    This is not just another award at a state show. The Florida State Taxidermists Association is not an organization to capitalize on an icon's good name just for the sake of offering an attractive new award, without any historical merit and reverence to the name it invokes. Nor did the FSTA attempt to copycat an icon's name for the sheer lucrative value of it. Rather the FSTA, with its Martha Maxwell Award maps out a demonstrative mile marker to show how far we have come, yet with such a huge gap of time in between the road posts to show for it, since Martha's day. If there is such a thing as a taxidermist's Hall of Valhalla, then surely Odin himself must genuflect at this most significant leading lady. Congratulations Mrs. Durham on your achievement. Treasure and celebrate your award as we treasure and celebrate the memory of "Woman's Work".
  2. KatieC

    KatieC Active Member

    That's amazing, thanks for sharing!

  3. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Thanks John.
  4. afterlifeanatomy

    afterlifeanatomy New Member

    Loved hearing about this on the phone John! Lets keep spreading the word about Martha. Giving her the recognition she deserves.