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Can You Name These Once Very Familiar Faces?

Discussion in 'Taxidermy History' started by Joe Kish, Oct 20, 2019.

  1. Whitetails1

    Whitetails1 Craig C.

    The gentlemen in the middle picture of the fish carving is Larry Beckmann he ran a part time studio in Powell Wyoming back in the late 70 's
     
  2. creepers

    creepers natural history preparator

    Thanks for posting all these great bits and Bob's Joe, really appreciate it.
     
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  3. creepers

    creepers natural history preparator

    Thanks Joe, these pictures and stories are great to see, very inspiring
     
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  4. Museum Man

    Museum Man Well-Known Member

    Here is a photo of the woman who was at this photo time in her 90's who helped raise bushman when he was a baby and she was a little girl. It was her first time seeing him in decades. She was so excited to see him again after all those years. How cool is that! bushman.PNG
     
  5. grumpa

    grumpa Member

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    Craig c. I agree the mystery man was Larry Beckmann from Powell, Wyo. If I'm not mistaken, Larry passed awhile ago. He was a nice guy.
     
  6. James Marsico

    James Marsico Well-Known Member

     
  7. James Marsico

    James Marsico Well-Known Member

    That is Larry Beckman in the middle. He is from my town of Powell Wyoming. He died of MS several years ago.. He was a excellent taxidermist and a really nice guy.
     
  8. Joe Kish

    Joe Kish Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Jim, I remember Larry. He was a regular at TR conventions and as you can see from the photo, he ran with the big boys as a skilled taxidermist.
    Here's a few personalities out of the historical past; the late '70s.

    Here we see Jim Hall receiving a check for prize money from Peter Reshetniak at the first TR competition. Jim later went on to form the entity that became Breakthrough magazine and the World Taxidermy Championships with a partner named Bob Williamson. I once took Jim's fish mounting course over in Idaho Falls with only one other student - Tim Kelly, owner and publisher of American Taxidermist magazine. Bob soon screwed Jim out of his ownership and share of the pie like he did to many other people. Jim wrote plenty of articles on fish taxidermy in the '70s and early '80s but eventually became disenchanted with the meanness of those engaged in the commercialization of taxidermy and simply withdrew from it completely. Btw, Jim Hall was a master gunsmith and rifle maker. I saw how skilled he was when he showed us an over and under rifle he had recently made.

    Those who attended Piedmont Tech courses in taxidermy will remember Ralph Garland. We had him and the Mrs. as our guests at a TR convention once to give him some broader reach and see what taxidermy culture was like west of the Mississippi. Ralph was obviously a skilled taxidermist as we see in this photo with an award for a pair of fishes. I think Ralph is still living in S. Carolina, but I'll bet he dies his beard white now.

    Onno Van Veen was the long time supply manager for Jonas Brothers at 1037 Broadway in Denver. Here he is at a TR convention presenting the first Coleman Jonas Memorial Award for service and achievements as a practitioner, educator and popularizer of the art of taxidermy. to Don Sharp of Wollaton Hall, Nottingham, England. Don was the taxidermist at their natural history museum there and was engaged in a study of Sciuridae, you know, chipmunks. He had a number of pet chipmunks even. Don is perhaps best known for starting the British Guild of Taxidermists. He passed away only a few years after this photo was taken from cancer.


    Jim Hall and P. Reshetniak - Copy.jpg

    Ralph Garland - Copy.jpg
    Onno Van Veen and Don Sharp - Copy.jpg
     
  9. Allie

    Allie Member

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    Thanks, Ken! Nice work. I can't believe I hadn't seen that before. Too bad I never got the chance to meet Henry.
    I, for one, like the posts in this section more than any others and miss those of PA.
     
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  10. Joe Kish

    Joe Kish Well-Known Member

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    You bird guys and gals might appreciate this. The caption below the picture doesn't tell the whole story. The photo is of a diorama in the Field Museum with taxidermy by John Moyer. John told me that the bird skins that were collected were not well prepared because the party didn't have a taxidermist aboard. I think he said they were collected on the 1928-1930 expedition. He said for some reason I don't recall, the skins were not thoroughly fleshed and were very inflexible and it was not possible to properly close them around the mannikins. His solution was to leave them open opposite the show side and position the opened side toward the background painting. Otherwise he would have had to make unnaturally thin penguins or not mount them at all. It was a clever solution and the visitors were none the wiser. This photo is from John's book Practical Taxidermy, first edition, copyright 1953.

    Moyer's penguins.jpg
     
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  11. Joe Kish

    Joe Kish Well-Known Member

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    Here's a personal letter I got from the late John Moyer back in 1994. He was a fine bird man. It's well worth a trip to the Field Museum to see his and Ashley Hines' work along with the work of all the other masters who worked there. Were John alive today I'm sure he would be duly impressed by the work of today's best bird people, especially the men, only because there are more of them.

    John Moyer's letter to me.jpg
     
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  12. Museum Man

    Museum Man Well-Known Member

    Here's another photo from the past. Everyone should know who this is. He is a world class sculptor. This photo is 38 years ago, 1981. I think you might have been there Joe as a judge. IMG_1471.JPG
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2019
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  13. Museum Man

    Museum Man Well-Known Member

    I'm surprised no one guessed this by now. Its Vic Heinker one of the best all around taxidermists I ever knew in my life.
     
  14. Joe Kish

    Joe Kish Well-Known Member

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    It's been so long I don't remember when Vic first came on the scene as one to watch. These days his name is recognizable as an accomplished sculptor. He's also humble with no affectations relevant to his skills. The head you see in the picture was the style back then. In order to capture game head sales from competitors as time wore on, sculptors had to do something different just to be different like adding 'hot dog buns' where the upper forelegs would be. This meant more research and development dollars spent and the gradual increase in prices for forms. In my view, the earlier style shown in this model by Vic lacks nothing as far as shoulder model forms go.
     
  15. Museum Man

    Museum Man Well-Known Member

    if I remember correctly, Vic had told me back then the form used on that deer was a Joe Coombs one. I could tell in the 1970's that Vic was on the road to becoming a big talent in the industry
     
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  16. Fascinating stuff. Please keep it coming. Also love to see as much info as possible on J.W. Elwood and his school between 1903 and 1965.
     
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  17. Joe Kish

    Joe Kish Well-Known Member

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    93 years ago.
    November 17, 1926 was the day Carl Ethan Akeley died on the remote heights of Mt. Mikeno in what was then still the Belgian Congo. Here is the back cover jacket of the definitive biography (of) Carl Akeley, Africa's Collector, Africa's Savior by Penelope Bodry Sanders. It's a must read along with Akeley's autobiography - In Brightest Africa. It's a must read of course, but not only for those who wish to know why this man is still revered and in many ways a worthy role model for those with professional aspirations. I have a pretty good idea that some respectful woman up in Clarendon, NY will be putting flowers in remembrance at the Akeley Monument Stone.
    And for those who might wish to experience a revenant with this great man, I suggest my own slim book A Conversation with Carl Akeley. There's nothing else like it available anywhere. You'll read it more than once and learn something new every time.

    Penelope Bodry Sanders.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2019
  18. I have all three and they are all great reads. Joe's book gave me the chills, it was so realistic. Highly recommended.
     
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  19. Whitetails1

    Whitetails1 Craig C.

    Joe's book "A Conversation with Carl Akeley" is a excellent read. I read it at least once every month. The other books on Carl Akeley are excellent as well, really would have been fun to spend time watching him work!!!!
     
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  20. Ken Edwards

    Ken Edwards Taxidermy.Net Administrator Staff Member

    Where are they now? Bob Elzner, World Champion mammal taxidermist from 1986 and star of many early taxidermy instruction videotapes.

     
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