L'INVITATION AU VOYAGE...Tavarua - Collage

L'INVITATION AU VOYAGE...Tavarua - Collage

Monday, December 10, 2012

Explorer, Artist, Hunter, Photographer and Taxidermist - Carl Akeley (1864 - 1926)

Carl Akeley with the leopard that nearly killed him. He killed it with his bare hands. 
 Photo: Courtesy Henry Holt and Co.

Carl Ethan Akeley consider the father of modern taxidermy. 


There were great men in Africa who collected to fill their trophy rooms with the beasts from the African continent a long time ago.  Some not only for the sake of having their trophy rooms filled with exotic animals but beyond the hunt and adventure - to document the animals in the wild.  

Akeley made five expeditions to the African continent.

Hall of African Animals of Natural History Museum in New York bears his name. He is famous for the way he applied the skin to the finely molded form of the animals which gave the spectator  a feeling of realism and brought taxidermy from craft to a refined art. Early taxidermy mounts had been stuffed with rags and sawdust without any regard to any refinement.
Hand colored slide circa 1896 from the expedition by Carl Akeley and D.G. Eliot
Chicago Field Museum

Akeley's Camp on Mt. Mikano 1921

In 1926 he returned to Africa and the Congo to hunt and study the mountain gorilla unfortunately he contracted a fever while on expedition and died. He was buried a few miles away from where he had encountered his first gorilla in 1921.

I raise my glass for another great man " Not to be Forgotten"...


The first person to use the word taxidermy was Luis Dufresne
Greek - taxis - arrangement
derma - skin

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