The History of Human Taxidermy with Pat Morris
MEN OF STRAW - The History of Human Taxidermy
with Dr Pat Morris
Sunday 4th October from 7:00 pm

“Seems to me taxidermy is a promising third course to burial or cremation. You could keep all your dear ones by you." HG Wells, Triumphs of a Taxidermist (1894)

Sadly, this was one of Wells's ideas that did not prove to be prescient. Despite the popularity of taxidermy in the Victorian household, stuffing human beings presents intractable technical and ethical problems. Wax models, embalming, and more recently, the plastination technique, as seen in Gunter Von Hagen’s Body Worlds dissection shows, have proved more practical methods for preserving and exhibiting the human corpse.

However Dr Pat Morris has managed to track down seven examples of human beings who have been stuffed and in his talk he will discuss the history of this maverick art form. Some of these specimens were servants whose masters wanted them preserved so they could remain posthumously in attendance, while others were circus freaks whose proprietors wished to be able to continue to make money from exhibiting them even after their demise.

Dr Pat Morris
Pat Morris is a biologist, and formerly a senior lecturer in zoology at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is the author of twenty books about natural history and taxidermy and has published more than 150 scientific papers and magazine articles on natural history. A former technical adviser to Walter Potter’s museum in Bramber he wrote "Walter Potter and His Museum of Curious Taxidermy", a unique record of this now sadly dispersed collection.

This event has now sold out..

Venue - The Dissenters' Chapel, Kensal Green Cemetery, London (ticket includes a tour of the catacombs)