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Exhibit titled "Dioramas" in Europe

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by PA, Sep 28, 2017.

  1. PA

    PA Well-Known Member

    There is an interesting exhibit that finished up in Paris and appears to be going to be shown at a different venue in Frankfurt on Dioramas. I found a blog post on it here.

    It seems to be a thoughtful exhibit covering many of the different kinds of dioramas and explores many related to taxidermy. The contributors include quite a number of people I recognize and include works done by Taxidermists Carl Akeley, Walter Potter, Peter Spicer, Jules Terrier, and Rowland Ward.

    The Photograph by Richards Barnes "Man with Buffalo" looks a lot like George Dante

    Granted, this isn't the usual type post to appear on the Taxidermy.net but a few might enjoy the link as a distraction from the routine posts that appear here.
  2. AliciaG

    AliciaG Museum taxidermist and exhibit preparator

    Wow, that looks like a great show to check out. Thanks for sharing Steve!

  3. Joe Kish

    Joe Kish Well-Known Member

    I read your post and followed the link you provided. It was interesting to learn that a museum in Paris had staged an extensive exhibit on dioramas themselves as an art form. Taxidermy was well represented in those exhibits. I’m a lifelong museum goer and appreciate seeing culture and heritage museums as well as natural history museums.
    Museums are the one venue where the art of taxidermy has and will always flourish. Museums have also been the source of most innovative methods and techniques. I say this because it is in museums where the products of the art faithfully serve the multiple purposes of science, education and conservation, not to mention the entertainment value of wildlife dioramas all ages can enjoy. In these three areas, the commercial field is of little consequence, and if it ceased to exist, it likely would not long be missed by the public because it will still be found in museums. This isn’t to disparage commercial work, but mounted trophies have very limited scientific value. They are not intended to purposely educate anyone, and if commercial mounts contribute to conservation, I can’t think of a ready argument as to how.
    There is however, the obvious connect between museum and commercial taxidermy, in that both museum and commercial practitioners are engaged in the same art form. In fact most museum taxidermists, including myself, learned most of their art and craft in the commercial arena. Then in 1976 I happened to have had the honor and pleasure of bringing the two disciplines together at the first TR competition in Denver. I persuaded the Denver museum to permit my group to have a behind the scenes tour of the taxidermy labs as part of the events of the convention. It was an unprecedented occurrence and the one and only Henry Inchumuk was there to meet them, show them around and answer questions. It reintroduced Henry back into the mainstream of activities of commercial men and women and gave the attendees a chance to see how genuine masters of the art were working their magic.
    While many commercial taxidermists may at one time aspired to work in a museum, only a small number have done extensive work for museums. Perhaps only because so few have the interest, the knowledge of natural history and the skill to meet museum standards. But if the truth be told, I can’t imagine any practitioner of the art turning down a chance to have his work on permanent public display, if not in a museum, certainly in a nature center, a library or maybe even in the rotunda of his state capital.
    So where am I going with this? If one has never made a diorama or worked on one, he can’t know how challenging, fun and satisfying it is to create such a three-dimensional work. Your entry in last year’s PTA convention was the talk of the show and set a precedent that must have set some wheels turning in the minds of a competitor or two. I like to think that your work and your post will be a catalyst for others to lead the field by showing the possibilities of museum quality work in the commercial arena, with a stunning exhibit of accurate and true to nature wildlife presentation in a portable glassed-in case. Associations don’t even have to create a new category. Competitions are so predictable these days, something new and different is sorely needed to reignite the original creative fire that drew competitors to competitions in the first place.