This is Mad Question Asking’s show and tell on Taxidermy.
I crystal clearly remember having this dream from way before I was three, of my crib floating out to the giant elk that hung 14′ up a stone fireplace in my childhood home’s living room, which very much looked like a lodge. This elk carried the weight of a six-foot wide rack. In my dream, while my crib levitated in front of the elk, I was petting and hugging the elk’s neck, and he was nuzzling me back. We were talking or communicating, which since I couldn’t speak yet was me baby cooing and him making that noise that animals like him make out of their nose. He was very gentle with me, and I think this memory dream tells me that I am still that child. I really want to talk to and befriend all things, especially the weird and wonderful ones.
Last week, my friend John and I drove up to George Dante’s amazing taxidermy studio, Wildlife Preservations, to drop off an antique piece that I’m getting restored.
George told us about coming off of a year-long job at The American Museum of Natural History in New York and all the cool places his work takes him. I asked if he got invited to parties at those places and he said he did but didn’t usually go. “What? You gotta go!” I replied, wishing that I got invited to parties at The Natural History Museum, imagining a real life man with the yellow hat or some other interesting character there. I asked if I could walk around and take pictures and peek in the storage space upstairs and swore I would be very careful. He kindly said yes. He has a pretty interesting life as a taxidermy artist, filled with fascinating stories plus he is a really nice guy.
This was our second visit to his shop and these are photos I took from both visits. Enjoy.