Skinned, Stuffed and Mounted: The History, Culture and How-to of Taxidermy

Sunday, April 21, 2013

2:00 - 5:30 PM

at the Wagner Free Institute of Science

Photograph by Ben Leuner

With over 100,000 specimens, many of which are skinned, stuffed and mounted, the Wagner Free Institute of Science is no stranger to taxidermy. Visitors to the Victorian era museum are immediately drawn to the multitude of skeletons, skins, and fauna displayed behind glass for observation and study. In homage to the taxidermists who spent countless hours preserving the specimens in the Wagner collection, you are invited to a program of taxidermy history and how-to. Rachel Poliquin, author of the book The Breathless Zoo, will discuss the history of taxidermy and its larger implications for the relationship between human and non-human animals. Beth Beverly, a local artist and taxidermist, will then demonstrate how to skin, stuff, mount and arrange a specimen. While not for the faint-of-heart, this fascinating demonstration is not to be missed! A small reception will follow the talk with light refreshments, Q&A, book signings and Jewelry and hat sales.

Reservations required

Price: $10

Reserve your tickets

This Signature Program of the Science Festival event is cosponsored by the
Wagner Free Institute of Science Philadelphia Area Center for History of Science


Rachel Poliquin

Rachel Poliquin is a writer and curator dedicated to exploring all things orderly and disorderly in the natural world. Most recently, her work has focused on the cultural history of taxidermy. She is the author of The Breathless Zoo: Taxidermy and the Cultures of Longing (Penn State Press, 2012) and Her museum work includes “Ravishing Beasts: The Strangely Alluring World of Taxidermy” at the Museum of Vancouver and the permanent Vertebrate exhibits at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum. She is currently writing a book about beavers for the Reaktion Book’s Animal series.

Beth Beverly

Philadelphia’s premiere rogue taxidermist, Beth Beverly specializes in wearable taxidermy. Her hats have won awards at the Devon Horse Show, Brandywine Polo and Radnor Hunt Clubs. Her work has been featured in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, plus galleries such as La Luz de Jesus, Art in the Age, and Michael Vincent Gallery. In 2010 Beverly won "Best in Show" at the annual Carnivorous Nights competition in New York. Currently featured as an "Immortalizer" on AMC's series about competitive taxidermy, she relishes in being photographed wearing her work and defying common stereotypes of taxidermists.

The Philadelphia Science Festival is a citywide collaboration showcasing science and technology every April. Part of a national movement to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers, it builds on Philadelphia’s rich history of innovation with dozens of events at museums, universities and neighborhood libraries. Learn more at

The Festival is funded in-part by the National Science Foundation and presented by The Dow Chemical Company.






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