Taxidermy as a Cultural Object

Notes on Preservation, Death and Art

Taxidermy as a Cultural Object

Notes on Preservation, Death and Art

Kate Clark is a sculptor who creates hybrid beings using some elements of taxidermy.

This essay, based on academic research on the representation of death, grief and science, deals with the new resurgence of taxidermy in New York City, where a new generation of artists and artisans explore the aesthetic and ethical limits of this practice. As taxidermy deals with lifeless bodies of animals it becomes a delicate issue for many, in which the central element of debate would be around the legitimacy of using the corpse of an animal and the need for preserving or exhibiting it. Different perspectives of this practice are analysed by means of classical taxidermy, the anthropomorphic style or contemporary art based on taxidermy practises, in order to address questions such as: Is ethical taxidermy possible? Is commemorative taxidermy of a beloved pet acceptable? Why does taxidermy appeal or disgust? Is taxidermy controversial just because it questions the limits of life, death and decay? What is the contribution of the new generation of taxidermists?

You must be a subscriber to view the main content of this page. Please subscribe to an option that fits your needs and get access to core content! If you are already a subscriber just sign in below. If you have purchased a subscription via Offline payment, the content will be unlocked upon receiving your payment.

Death, preservation and the uncanny are key elements to understanding and addressing both the appeal and/or disgust which many feel towards taxidermy.
Reading time: 9 min.


sign up

and get the latest news and calls for papers & projects

Our site uses cookies to improve our services. As an user you need to agree to the usage and accept our conditions. We are currently using only necessary cookies for normal web page functioning. For more information visit our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. For more information on the cookies that we use please check the list below.  

This cookie is native to PHP applications. The cookie is used to store and identify a users’ unique session ID for the purpose of managing user session on the website. The cookie is a session cookies and is deleted when all the browser windows are closed.

I consent to the cookie usage, agree with the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy and want to continue using the web-page.