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(tăk`sĭdûr'mē), process of skinning, preserving, and mounting vertebrate animals so that they still appear lifelike. The fur or feathers are cleaned, and the skin, treated with a cleansing and preserving preparation, is mounted on an artificial skeleton. At first, taxidermy was used for the preservation of skins, hunting trophies, and travel souvenirs. Animals were literally stuffed; they were hung downward and filled with straw. Today, taxidermy is employed mainly by museums of science, although by the early years of the 21st cent. the use of this process in dioramas and other museum displays had become much less common. Carl E. AkeleyAkeley, Carl Ethan
, 1864–1926, American naturalist, animal sculptor, and author, b. Orleans co., N.Y. He served (1887–95) at the Museum of Milwaukee; from 1895 to 1909 he was at the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, and from 1909 he was affiliated with the
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 devised a method of mounting that is now standard. The true contours of the specimen are preserved by making a clay model, exactly duplicating the animal's muscle structure, over an armature that includes the original skeleton or parts of it. A plaster mold is then made, from which is produced a light, durable frame that holds the skin in position. Synthetic materials, especially celluloids, are now often used to reproduce the true color and translucence of such specimens as reptiles and fishes.


See M. Milgrom, Still Life (2010).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the stuffing and mounting of animals, in which a metal or wooden framework forms the base. If soft stuffing material is used, such as oakum or cotton batting, the necessary shape is imparted as the hide is stuffed. If an artificial body is used, the skin is stretched over a rigid model of the animal. The artificial body is a copy of the animal in a particular pose. It may be made by winding soft material onto a framework, or it may consist of a metal mesh, papier-mâché, or plastic. (See alsoPREPARATION.)


Zaslavskii, M. A. Izgotovlenie chuchel, muliazhei i modelei zhivotnykh: Obshchaia taksidermiia. Leningrad, 1968.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Museum of Ethnography in Stockholm, Sweden (which I visited in February 2009), had such a taxidermic diorama.
Carroll investigates the letters and journals of 12 visitors, tracing the fascination and disgust aroused by Waterton's literary and taxidermic creations.
But of course this creature is also a potential source of knowledge as well as food and clothing, and the Natural History Lesson concludes with directions for taxidermic preparation of this rara avis:
She is the author of Taxidermic Signs: Reconstructing Aboriginality (University of Minnesota Press, 2008) and is currently co-editing, with Jennifer Henderson, Reconciling Canada: Critical Perspectives on the Culture of Redress.
According to the Ground Plan included in the Guide, the display that would have greeted visitors upon entering the Main Hall from the La Trobe Street public entrance was in fact not the Mediaeval Court, but the fur trophy, a display comprising cases of furs and stuffed birds beneath a fur-covered triumphal arch surmounted by a taxidermic representation of the Australian arms.
Four major antitrust decisions by the Supreme Court under Chief Justice Roberts continue this process of taxidermic mutilation.
Lily's final tableau of death transforms her into the period's quintessential museum piece--the perfectly preserved taxidermic specimen" (320).
These motives help explain what Seltzer calls "the taxidermic imperative that runs through some of these [murder] cases: the taking and wearing of skins and the substitution of artifactual for natural-surface boundaries of the body and of the self" (140).
Of course, bidders also can vie for the wacky, from taxidermic bats to debris from shipwrecked luxury liners.
Copulation with a female taxidermic model (US) was paired with a previously neutral block of wood (CS).
In a phrase designed to make the animal painter George Stubbs cringe (he dissected endless horses in quest of an anatomically perfect picture), Moore insists that the image of the mythical kylin is "also accurate." The often brutal scientific "accuracy" of the West stands juxtaposed to the more generous and imaginative "accuracy" of the East - the idealizing Chinese perspective born, in Davis's view, of the conception that beasts "have a place in the cosmos quite irrespective of their service to man." Those observers disposed to find fault with any account of nature that is not strictly taxidermic, Moore suggests, are liable to miss much of nature's beauty.
In presenting the studio activity that followed, drawing taxidermic birds that she borrowed from the nearby university's biology lab, the teacher was very clear in specifying the objectives for the project, both verbally and in writing on the chalkboard.