Whether you are a native New Yorker or a visitor to NYC, one of the more interesting places you can visit is the Morbid Anatomy Museum at 424-A 3rd Ave, Gowanus, Brooklyn. This is a place where you will find all manner of things related to death, dying, grief, murderers, spirits and any number of strange, obscure and outlandish things, see the video.
And the Museum also runs hugely popular taxidermy classes which are always booked out. There New Yorkers who have always yearned to have their very own stuffed mouse or tiger’s head can learn the exacting art of skinning a dead animal or bird and then mounting the skin on stuffing on a frame in a way which creates the animal again, though obviously without its previsously beating heart. See here for classes Morbid Anatomy Museum Taxidermy Classes
Think for a moment about the relative difficulty of getting a tiger, or indeed any dead animal complete with it’s fur or feathers down at the local supermarket and you have some idea of why students in the taxidermy class learn on pigeons, squirrels and other small animals. Rest assured they are acquired both ethically and legally for the classes. But the technique is the same for small or large creatures and once you know how to go about it, if a tiger comes into your vicinity then you are amply prepared to cut off its head and stuff it, provided someone else has instructed you in the art of killing it.
Teaching the taxidermy classes, are two ladies who are highly skilled and trained in the art of taxidermy. They hold workshops several times a month in how to do it all. Most of the students are women too though there seems no obviosu reason why that should be so. It all seems rather bloody when you see them in action in the video and you can’t help having a lot of sympathy for Carl Akeley, the famous taxidermist who created the stuffed animal dioarmas at the Museum of Natural History. Skinning and mounting a pigeon is one thing, doing it with a herd of elephants isquite another.
Taxiderny was definitely on it’s way out in America, so you could say the Morbid Anatomy Museum is pegging back that decline one small animal corpse at a time.