Frogs, Dogs, Birds and Beetle Wings: Whimsical Taxidermy in 19th Century Design
An illustrated presentation and book release by author John Whitenight
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 looking at 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.
Illustrated presentation 5:30 to 6:30 PM
Book signing 6:30 to 7:30 PM
Under Glass, A Victorian Obsession will be available for purchase
at the program and a book signing will follow the presentation.
Visit John Whitenight's website for more information about his book: http://www.underglassavictorianobsession.com/
This program is a part of Design Philadelphia
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 Century. Photo by Alan Kolc.
Bottom: "Pug Dog Puppies," English, c. 1900. Photo by Alan Kolc.