Thursday, October 17, 2013

Frogs, Dogs, Birds and Beetle Wings:

Whimsical Taxidermy in 19th Century Design

An illustrated presentation and book release

by author John Whitenight

5:30 - 6:30 PM presentation

6:30 - 7:30 PM book signing

Please register here for this free event.

Victorian design is often characterized as prim and straight-laced but this period also produced objects of great imagination and whimsy--a kitten's wedding, frogs playing pool, stuffed pets and ball gowns adorned with beetle wings. 

Please join us for a special evening with author, artist and connoisseur of all things Victorian, John Whitenight, who will explore a lighter side of Victorian taxidermy. Whether it was the anthropomorphic creatures of Hermann Plocquet and Walter Potter

or jewelry crafted from hummingbirds, no other era has embraced the natural world in such a creative manner. 

John's talk will include rarely seen images from his extensive research on Victorian decorative arts, many featured in his new book Under Glass, A Victorian Obsession. This presentation, a part of Design Philadelphia, will take place in Wagner's preserved 19th century lecture hall and show a rare side of Victorian taxidermy--one you don't often find in a natural history museum.

Under Glass, A Victorian Obsession will be available for purchase ($75)
at the program and a book signing follows the presentation. 


Visit John Whitenight's website for more information about his book.

This program is a part of Design Philadelphia  

Images credits: 

Top of page: "Monkey riding the Goat" by Walter Potter, English, c. 1870. Photo by Alan Kolc.

Bottom series of images:
Top left: Dress embroidered with beetle wings. 
Top right: Squirrels playing cards, late 19th C., courtesy of The Strong, Rochester, New York.
Below: "Les Buveurs" (the drinkers), French, late 19th C. Photo by Alan Kolc.
Bottom: "Pug Dog Puppies," English, c. 1900. Photo by Alan Kolc.












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