Friday, September 5, 2014
I ran into Allis Markham of Prey Taxidermy on Instagram because of the @taxidermybabes feed (which is awesome). I was immediately struck by the fact that she is living my dream. She works for the Los Angeles Natural History Museum doing taxidermy work and works with Tim Bovard (Master Taxidermist). I was in awe. Her Instagram feed is absolutely amazing as well (@allis) I sent her a message hoping that I'd get some of my questions answered, and, after a few days, I got back the most wonderfully detailed email from her. Every interaction with her has been absolutely amazing and she is just wonderful.
In an article recently written by Lauren Herstik for the LA Weekly, the importance of museums in preserving history is called to attention, "...The Natural History Museum itself plays a crucial role in preserving taxidermy. Museums are the only place where practitioners have the opportunity to work on most specimens; as employees of a public institution, museum taxidermists are exempt from laws restricting the sale, trade and possession of endangered and protected species. The complex regulations include the Migratory Birds Treaty of 1918, which restricts the "taking" of wild birds, criminalizing the whole pursuit all the way down to being in possession of a feather."
Tim Bovard goes on to explain how taxidermy has changed so much in the past century. "The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is unique among its peers in that it's the only such museum in the country with a full-time taxidermist on its payroll. "No other institution that started building dioramas in the '20s has continuously had diorama people on staff."
I am so excited to meet the both of them in the coming months. It's been my dream since I was a child staring up at the Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops fighting in the main entry way to get a tour of the museum from those who work there.
The whole article can be found here.