Ravishing Beasts - Museum of Vancouver

On Saturday we went to the Museum of Vancouver to see the special exhibit 'Ravishing Beasts', showcasing the taxidermy collection from the museum's archives. I wasn't at all familiar with taxidermy, but always had a curiousity about stuffed animals. The exhibit seems like a relic of an era, a weird mixture of the science, Imperialism, and the obsession of collecting nature and conquering death.

The dog was probably my favorite specimen in the exhibit. It really did look alive, as if it were patiently waiting for its owner to reappear.

These birds (starlings, waxwings, and some other type) were disturbing, because these birds were clearly dead, not posed as if alive like the other animals in the exhibit.

These is part of an installation by an artist featuring bottled animals. This was really creepy, because the animals were just stuffed in the glass. Some of the animals had their heads peaking out from the liquid.

The beaver has the most curious expression--it seems both sad and happy.

Seeing the animals which are obviously dead was both fascinating and unsettling; they are so still and also seem so alive, as if they were stopped forever in a moment in time. It's weird because I was very close to these specimens, but haven't been nearly as close to most of these animals in real life. Of course, the exhibit also showcases the skill of taxidermists, and an art that is of a past era.

It's definitely worth going, if you are interested and in the area. The museums permanent collection of Vancouver history is quite fun and interesting as well.

1 comment:

  1. ew, that look totally creepy. and i totally wanna go see it now! lol