Decay

‘Decayed’ photographic prints of museum animal specimens stored in jars of spirit.

OUMNH2446 Phocoena comminis Harbor porpoise
OUMNH2446 Phocoena comminis Harbor porpoise
 OUMNH2334 Panthera pardus Leopard
OUMNH2334 Panthera pardus Leopard
Pigeon
Pigeon
Loris
Loris
OUMNH9794 Rattus Norvegicus Brown rat
OUMNH9794 Rattus Norvegicus Brown rat
OUMNH2062 Sus scrofa Boar or pig
OUMNH2062 Sus scrofa Boar or pig
Flying fox
Flying fox
Pine Marten
Pine Marten
 OUMNH8057 Sacrophilis harrissii Tasmanian Devil
OUMNH8057 Sacrophilis harrissii Tasmanian Devil
aye aye
aye aye
OUMNH2059 Viverra civetta Civet brain
OUMNH2059 Viverra civetta Civet brain
OUMNH1505 Phasianus gallus Chicken
OUMNH1505 Phasianus gallus Chicken
OUMNH2068 Bos taurus  Ox brains
OUMNH2068 Bos taurus Ox brains
OUMNH833 Ursus americanus Black bear
OUMNH833 Ursus americanus Black bear
Crocodile family
Crocodile family
OUMNH3030 Macropus sp Kangaroos and wallabies
OUMNH3030 Macropus sp Kangaroos and wallabies
Thylacinus cynocephalus Tasmanian tiger
Thylacinus cynocephalus Tasmanian tiger
Primate
Primate

The original prints were of a selection of animal specimens kept in Oxford University Museum of Natural History collections. The prints themselves were subsequently displayed in glass jars of vinegar for people to handle and peer into. The vinegar caused the photo paper chemicals to separate, creating this unusual ‘decay’ effect. In this way, the photo collection reflects the natural decay that can occur with museum specimens if they are not properly cared for.

Oxford University Museum of Natural History are not on display to the public and these images were taken with special access and permission.

Images taken courtesy of the Oxford University Museum of Natural History