Stuffed & Displayed: The Curious Art of Victorian Taxidermy

The desire to preserve dead animals as they appeared in life can be traced all the way back to the Egyptian civilization, but in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the practice reached a peak of popularity in Britain and abroad.

There were more than a dozen taxidermists showing at the Great Exhibition in London in 1851, the year when 75,000 visitors paid to see John Gould’s exhibition of stuffed hummingbirds at Regent’s Park Zoo. By the late Victorian era virtually every large village in the UK had a resident ‘professional’ taxidermist and almost every home a stuffed bird or mammal of some description.

In this illustrated lecture Ian Cox discusses 19th-century taxidermy in its various guises ranging from “specimen” examples of various species highlighting an interest in the natural workd, to trophy pieces displayed for status and decorative effect. Also included will be the bizarre fashion for displaying animals “en tableau” showing them engaged in a variety of human-like activities.

Indian DIsplay from 1851 Great Exhibition, from originals painted by Nash for Prince Albert

Ian Cox, Lecturer and Historian

Ian Cox studied at the Universities of Keele, London and Glasgow. He developed his career as a decorative arts historian in the 1980s and was the Director of the Christie’s Decorative Arts Programme at the University of Glasgow and then Director of Studies for Christie’s Education in London. Ian also ran a prestigious Decorative Arts Summer School for Christie’s in New York and was Co-Director of the Victorian Society of America London Summer School. Ian has published widely in the history of the decorative arts, particularly on furniture and ceramics. In more recent times, he has directed cultural holiday programmes for the ACE foundation in Cambridge and is a regular round the world lecturer for the Seabourn and Silverseas cruise lines. He has been a lecturer for The Royal Oak Foundation in the USA since 2006.

LIVE

Wednesday, November 17 | 2:00 p.m. (EST)

Online via Zoom Webinar

$15 members; $20 non-members

Register for Live

*If you are a Royal Oak member, you must be signed into the website to register as a member. Click the sign in button at the top right of the shopping cart. Add the standard ticket to the cart and the discount will apply at check out. 

RENT

Between Thursday, November 18 to Tuesday, November 23

Rent the recorded lecture to watch at your leisure

$15 members; $20 non-members

Register to Rent

The Zoom video link will be sent to you on Thursday, November 18 at 12:00 p.m. noon (eastern).
Please check your spam or junk folder if you do not receive the link in your inbox. If it is not there by 1:30 p.m. (eastern), contact us right away at zoom@royal-oak.org
 
The rental video will be hosted on the Zoom website and only available for streaming until Tuesday, November 23 at 11:59 p.m. (eastern).  The video will not be available after that date and time. It cannot be downloaded.
 
*If you are a Royal Oak member, you must be signed into the website to register as a member. Click the sign in button at the top right of the shopping cart. Add the standard ticket to the cart and the discount will apply at check out.