Today I am happy to share some animals from Conrad Gesner's "Icones Animalium". This delight from 1553 (reprinted in 1560 by popular demand) shows how far publishing art had advanced since "Hortus Sanitatis" in 1491 (see previous blog post here). Still working with woodcuts (which the Australian Museum describes as "crude" - which tells me that they really haven't looked at my previous blog post), I would say these wood cuts are magnificent... in comparison to earlier works.
Next in the amazing story of a trip to the Ipswich Museum. Part I (in case you missed it) is here. Here, I want to share just one of the many case displays along the walls. Because there is so much stuff in this brilliant museum, it is hard to get a clear photo of the ensemble without getting a big cat blocking the shot. So I employed the services of that talented artist again. I could have spent all day on this case alone. Every single animal has been taxidermied with it's o
I made a long anticipated, long overdue visit to Ipswich Museum. It is one of those regional treasures, crammed with original Victorian enthusiasm for building a monument to share the wonders of the world with all members of the public. The entrance hall alone is awe inspiring. Photos really can't do it justice, so I engaged a very talented artist* to try to share the beauty of the exhibition hall. Yes, that's a giraffe! Next to him is a rhino, and a case of gorillas, and in
He (I am assuming it is a he) is easy to overlook. Many people wander by and don't even notice him. He is stealth itself, watching the crowds not even notice him as he sits, looking up briefly from his book, in Norwich Castle Museum, in a small linking corridor between the Natural History galleries. It is near-impossible to get a good photo of him (apologies for that). And the photos that are out there on the web, don't say who he is. He has a small key marker saying "2", but
I enjoyed a smashing visit to Norwich Castle Museum a couple of weekends ago. I spent much of my time in the Natural History Gallery. As well as meeting a lovely chap sat sketching the albatross (and discussing Doncaster, "a lovely place for a meat raffle"), I had time to appreciate the plethora of taxidermy. A number of them were still in marvellous condition, if a little paler than they may have started life. The animals are beautifully presented, in a wide array of display
Big birds of history. Actually the biggest birds. Ever. (If you don't count dinosaurs). Let me start again. The biggest birds than humans ever encountered. Mostly in history. Because then we killed them all. Leaving just ostriches and stuff. (Which can still be quite scary.) Okay, one more go. On my holidays, I went to the Norwich Castle Museum. In the Natural History section they have an elephant bird leg bone. I have elephant bird leg bones before. Yet somehow when they are
One of the most engaging exhibits at the Oxford Museum of Natural History is this skull. It is a juvenile Western Gorilla, looking out of one of the glass cases with as much curiosity as I looked in. It is noted in the database as Gorilla savagii - which along with King Kong helped give the impression that gorillas were savage. No more so than humans. Specifically the Thomas Savage who collected many of the early specimens in the 1840s, which were taxonomically named in his h