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Arts & Culture

The Fine Art of Taxidermy

taxidermy_beth_beverly_cat_and_mouse_2018.jpg
Beth Beverly
/
Diamond Tooth Taxidermy
Cat and Mouse

When you think of taxidermy, you may imagine a trophy room in which mostly male hunters have mounted the heads of 12-point stags along wood-paneled walls. If so, your image would be incomplete.

Taxidermy has gone through many iterations since gentleman scientists turned to taxidermy to understand anatomy during the Enlightenment. Victorians added a touch of whimsy, decorating their homes with birds under glass and falling in love with Walter Potter's anthropomorphized cats.

Later still, Norman Bates shifted the cultural understanding of taxidermy from art to something more macabre after he (spoiler alert) taxidermied his mother in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho.

Today, animal-loving millennial women are taking taxidermy to new levels of artistry and craftsmanship, from rogue taxidermists who mix and match animal parts to the mallard wing bridal veil of a couture taxidermist.

In the end, isn't taxidermy about immortality and how we choose to remember?

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Colin McEnroe and Chion Wolf contributed to this show.

Betsy started as an intern at WNPR in 2011 after earning a Master's Degree in American and Museum Studies from Trinity College. She served as the Senior Producer for 'The Colin McEnroe Show' for several years before stepping down in 2021 and returning to her previous career as a registered nurse. She still produces shows with Colin and the team when her schedule allows.

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