Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Join Us as a Docent at the Morbid Anatomy Museum!

Interested in being a part of the Morbid Anatomy Museum? If not, why not consider becoming a volunteer docent? 

Although this is an unpaid position, being a museum docent is an excellent addition to your resume, and the museum is happy to provide references for regular docents. Shifts run from 11:45-6:00 all days except Tuesdays, and there is no minimum requirement. 

Volunteer docents also receive special perks:
  • Free admission to museum exclusive opening parties 
  • An atmospheric, quiet place to work with free wifi and unlimited access to the Morbid Anatomy Library collection of books and artifacts
  • One free event (under $10) for each shift worked
  • $20 off book purchases in the gift store for every five shifts you work, per exhibition
  • Preview of upcoming exhibitions for docent training
  • Docent party for each exhibit in which you volunteer three or more times
If you are interested in becoming a docent or finding out more, please e-mail our new docent coordinator at cristina [at] morbidanatomymuseum [dot] org. Either way, hope to see you around the museum soon!

Photo from our new Morbid Anatomy Museum installation.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Help us Bring Victorian Taxidermist Walter Potter’s 1890s Kittens' Wedding to New York!

Greetings! This is a letter from Joanna Ebenstein, co-founder and creative director of the Morbid Anatomy Museum.

Some of you might recall a book I authored a few years ago with Dr Pat Morris called Walter Potter's Curious World of Taxidermy. While working the book, I was lucky enough to see and photograph many of famous tableaux of eccentric Victorian taxidermist Walter Potter, which had been divided at auction about 10 years ago before.

One of his most iconic pieces, The Kittens' Wedding (see above) has entered our community of collectors. Its new owner, Mrs. Sabrina N. Hansen, has very generously agreed to allow us to exhibit it, so long as we can pay for safe and professional transportation and insurance.

We have just launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds to do so, on which more here. We have made available lots of perks, including custom limited-edition Potter photos and postcards of photos from my own collection; tickets to the exhibit and opening party; downloads of Filmmaker in Residence Ronni Thomas' award winning Potter documentary The Man Who Married Kittens; AND most excitingly, tours of the homes of private homes of collectors of Potteralia around the world where you can see pieces in their native habitat!

Following is information on some of the collectors who have kindly agreed to open their homes. Again, you can find out more here. Thanks for considering lending your support to this project!

The Home Collection of Dr Pat Morris, co-author of Walter Potter's Curious World of Taxidermy , who holds the argest collection of Potter pieces and ephemera including The Death and Burial of Cock Robin, A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed, an eight legged kitten, and Potter’s pet cat and dog.

The home of collection of Errol Fuller (author of Voodoo Salon) featuring Walter Potter’s Athletic Toads, his only mechanized tableau; Fencing mice with mole undertakers by Hermann Plouquet (above; circa 1850); a passenger pigeon; and, in his worlds, a Charles Waterton Saki Monkey "deformed to look like a little hairy man" (circa 1825).

The home of John Whitenight (author of Under Glass: A Victorian Obsession) and Fred LaValley, containing a collection of extraordinary 19th century taxidermy including Potters Monkey and Goat, along with rare French automatons (one that smokes a cigarette!), plus period rooms containing an array of Victorian furniture and decorative objects all of which are contained in a circa 1865 Philadelphia townhouse.

The home collection of Carol Holzer's collection, featuring Walter Potter’s two-faced kitten, a taxidermied lion, and many more pieces of taxidermy and assorted curiosities.

Find out more here.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Seeking Walter Potter's Kitten Tea and Croquet Party!

Do any Morbid Anatomy readers happen to know the new whereabouts of this most wonderful piece of late 19th century taxidermy, Walter Potter's Kittens’ Tea and Croquet Party?

Any leads suggested; Please send to joanna [at] morbidanatomymuseum [dot] org!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Taxidermy Exhibition and Party! Tolstoy and Metallica's Black Album! Grand Guignol Relaunch with Mel Gordon! Upcoming Morbid Anatomy Events

Image: 19th century bird box as part of our upcoming exhibition
Taxidermy: Art, Science and Immortality, opening August 12.
We have lots of great events coming up in the days and weeks to come at The Morbid Anatomy Museum!

Our next show, opening Friday August 12th, will be an epic 2-part show devoted to 19th century taxidermy in private collections; The first iteration, entitled Taxidermy: Art, Science and Immortality and curated by J. D. Powe, will launch with an opening party on Friday, August 12. This exhibition will explore our connection to dead and immortalized animals via a spectacular gathering of taxidermied treasures from private collections including natural wonders such as the great argus pheasant; “freaks of nature” including a circa 1915 four-Tusked Walrus; rare and extinct animals such as the once-abundant passenger pigeon and heath hen; a dizzying array of once beloved pets preserved for all time; and much more!

We also have a number of great new events, including a Rabbit or Jacaklope Shoulder Mount Taxidermy Workshop (August 14); An in-depth look at Metallica's Black Album with Ben Apatoff (August 23); A lecture and book launch for the new expanded edition of Mel Gordon's iconic (and long out of print) The Grand Guignol (August 25); a talk on alchemy and dreams with Brian Cotnoir (August 26); A drawing session in our new taxidermy exhibit (August 31); Author of Taxidermy Art Robert Marbury with a talk on the history of rogue taxidermy (September 2); a reiteration of our popular insect, arachnid and reptile petting zoo with Aaron Rodriguez (September 12); a bat skeleton articulation class (September 18); and an illustrated history of Jello Salad and Jello Salad Contest with the incomparable Jo Weldon (November 1).

We also have a number of fabulous events this week, including NSK (Neue Slowenische Kunst): Avant Garde Art Collective and Virtual State with NSK Diplomat Charles Lewis (August 4); Kevin Geeks Out about the Devil: A Multi-Media Evening Devoted to the Devil in Film with Kevin Maher, Paul Murphy and Tenebrous Kate (August 5); Dreams from Another Dimension with dream researcher Dr. Stanley Krippner (August 11); and Divya Anantharaman's Anthropomorphic Mouse Taxidermy Class with Divya Anantharaman (August 13); and Ringneck Pheasant Taxidermy Class (August 14).

To see a full list of upcoming events, click here. Hope to see you at one or more!

• Opening Party for Taxidermy: Art, Science and Immortality: The Newest Morbid Anatomy Museum Exhibition, Curated by J. D. Powe
August 12, 7pm VIP/8pm regular; VIP ticket: $45 (includes champagne toast) / $25 regular / $20 for regular member admission. More here.

• Rabbit or Jackalope Shoulder Mount Taxidermy Workshop with Divya Anantharaman
August 14th, 12 to 6:30pm, $250. More here.

• Exit Light: An In-Depth Look at Metallica's Black Album: An Illustrated Lecture with Ben Apatoff
August 23rd, 7pm, $12. More here.

• The Grand Guignol: An Illustrated Lecture and Book Launch with Mel Gordon
Thursday, August 25th, 7pm, $8. More here.

• Alchemy and Dream: The Lunar Realm of Alchemy, An Illustrated Lecture with Brian Cotnoir
August 26th, 7pm, $10. More here.

• Drawing Session in The Morbid Anatomy Museum Exhibition " Taxidermy: Art, Science and Immortality" with Artist Wilder Duncan
August 31, 6 pm 8pm, $20. More here.

• The Taxidermy Iconoclast: Taxidermy for a New Century, An Illustrated Lecture with Robert Marbury, author of Taxidermy Art
September 2nd, 7pm, $8. More here.

• Insect, Arachnids and Reptiles Petting Zoo with NYU Biology Student Aaron Rodriguez
Monday, September 12th, 7pm, $12. More here.

• Bat Skeleton Articulation Class with Wilder Duncan
Sunday, September 18th, 1pm, $200. More here.

• Tasteless: An Illustrated History of Jello Salad: Illustrated Lecture and Jello Salad Contest with Jo Weldon
November 1st, 7pm, $10. More here.