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by jraffan
posted 09/02/2015

Stuffed, Stitched and Studied – A Look at 19th Century Australian Taxidermy

ArtiFacts Eastside.

Join me in conversation with Dr Tony Gill, co-curator of the fascinating new Macleay Museum exhibition, Stuffed, Stitched and Studied, which looks at the methods and purposes of Australian 19th Century taxidermy made for science.

Taxidermy has become popular with many contemporary artists since the British artist Damien Hirst burst onto the scene using several dead animals in his Natural History series in the early ‘90s.

As a practice, taxidermy can be dated to around the mid 1500s, when specimens were prepared for artists to paint, and used as decoys in hunting, but modern taxidermy only began around 150 years ago.

The Macleay’s exhibition focuses on the 19th century and the incredible resource of specimens that were bequeathed to the museum, and it also explores taxidermy’s relationship to the science of taxonomy in this period, which is concerned with the scientific description, identification, naming and classification of flora and fauna.

More on the Macleay exhibition and a wealth of research resources on taxidermy:


Info on contemporary artists using taxidermy in their practice:




And the music? Avant-garde jazz and a mix of blues blues conjuring animal fangs, skin and bones, including a Chris Smither dose on intelligent design, a Dylan verse about taxonomy (well, sort of …) and a Tom Waits scary growl.

I look forward to your company! 10:30 to noon.

Jane Raffan


Image: Snr Curator Dr Jude Philp, Macleay Museum, courtesy SMH

Podcasts: http://eastsidefm.org/stuffed-stitched-and-studied-a-look-at-19th-century-australian-taxidermy/