Thursday, 19 November 2015

Creepy Reads Review: Taxidermy Art by Robert Marbury

I bought a copy of Robert Marbury's Taxidermy Art - A Rogue's guide to the work, the culture, and how to do it yourself on my trip to New York last spring. I think I bought it from the museum shop on MoMA. Marbury is one of the founders and the director of the Minnesota Association of Rogue Taxidermy and an acknowledged artist.
As the title suggest, this book is non-fiction and for a person like me, who has little knowledge about how to actually make taxidermy or about its history, this was a good and informative opus. I also like the way Marbury writes, he does not became too repetitive even though the book consists of artist presentations and there are only so many ways to express certain basic information.

After the introduction to the book at hand there is also a short and compact introduction to the history of taxidermy and also to those historical persons who contributed to the development of taxidermy practices. I like that part very much, that the contemporary artists are contextualized like that.

Taxidermy Art introduces artists from all over the world, which is fantastic. Well, most of them are from the US, a few from the UK, and a couple from Europe and New Zeeland and Australia. But as the opus states the artists introduced in it are the most popular and well-known ones at the moment. It seems that taxidermy art is more popular in the English-speaking world and hence most artists are from those countries. The book presents 21 artists/artist duos.

Here are two of my favorite works and I would love to have one of these (or another of her works, her website is like a candy store for me!) myself: Still Birth (Green) and Still Birth (Blue) by Polly Morgan.
Lisa Black from New Zeeland makes gorgeous works in which animal and machine merge. I had not known about her works if I had not bought Taxidermy Art.
I can happily recommend this book. The photos are fantastic and in the end there are even instructions on how to make a taxidermy oneself. Though it is not like I am going to try them anytime soon.


  1. This is the kind of thing I love! I adore taxidermy, but my boyfriend finds it sad to look at dead animals!

  2. Oh, that looks like a great book then! I love taxidermy - as long as it is done with animals who were not killed for it.

    1. Most of the artists in this book are people who want that too, and one is even vegan taxidermist: she produces taxidermy inspired art from other than animals. :)