Monday, 21 January 2013

A slice of taxidermy history

Martha Ann Maxwell (1831-1881)

Image: Taxidermy Innovator Martha Ann Maxwell

The splendid photograph above shows Martha Maxwell who was the first female field naturalist who acquired and prepared her own mounts. It was rare for a woman to show interest in such things, I really admire her spirit going against convention and following her passion.

She became inspired after seeing a local taxidermist at work, and began practicing skinning her own animals at home. She was an skilled hunter who developed new and modern procedures to skin and mount the remains of animals. Her work soon developed and she became an incredibly talented artist - it was her work that initiated the basis of modern taxidermy. She proudly exhibited her collection of preserved birds and animals at both the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia and Colorado Agricultural Society Fair in Denver. 

Martha remained a vegetarian all through her life.

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