Tyrconnell Heritage Society board member and community volunteer Jeanie Leitch passed away on May 26, 2012. Our condolences go out to all of Jeanie's friends, family and loved ones. Jeanie was a friend to all who were in need and her legacy of giving will live on through her tremendous contributions to our community and area organizations.
We will all miss you Jeanie.
If you knew Jeanie or your life was touched by the work she did and you'd like to pay your respects, information for visitation and the memorial service may be found by clicking here.
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Friday, May 11, 2012
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Get Stuffed~ A Whimsical Look at the Victorian Anthropomorphic Taxidermy Tradition
Backus-Page House Museum
Opening May 5th, 2012
The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations of 1851 was an international exhibition that took place in Hyde Park, London, from 1 May to 15 October 1851. It was held in the Crystal Palace, a massive glass house, 1851 feet long by 454 feet wide that was constructed from cast iron-frame components and glass. Over a dozen taxidermists exhibited at the Crystal Palace exhibition in 1851, many with complex anthropomorphic displays. Anthropomorphic taxidermy is the practice of taking the dead body of an animal, preserved through the art of taxidermy, and displaying it in such a way as to endow it with human characteristics. In these plain terms this might sound distasteful to a contemporary audience but citizens of the day found the actual effect anything but grotesque. The practice could be said to fall under the auspices of “Victorian Whimsy”, a popular cultural phenomena that influenced a portion of the art and literature of the time with a definition characterized by “capricious humor or disposition; extravagant, fanciful, or excessively playful expression: a play with lots of whimsy….an odd or fanciful notion”.
According to Charlotte Taylor, contributing author to Frieze Magazine, “Whimsy’s affinity with the Victorian bespeaks a hope that culture may regain its bygone influence, but its note of self-parody indicates a defiant readiness to court irrelevance. That parody is readily reflected in the displays laid out in the Backus-Page House Museum’s exhibit “Get Stuffed~ A Whimsical Look at the Victorian Anthropomorphic Taxidermy Tradition”. The exhibit is a light hearted look at the practice that so delighted Queen Victoria that she described the anthropomorphic Great Exhibition displays in her diaries as “really marvelous”. Drawing influence from Hermann Ploucquet's work which figured prominently at the Exhibition as well as the later work of Walter Potter, the museum exhibit presents a glimpse of what was formerly a common practice. Working with specimens from primarily contemporary collections, museum staff have endeavored to provide an opportunity for visitors to experience some small measure of the anthropomorphic taxidermy discipline. The Backus-Page House Museum is open Tuesday to Friday 10 am to 4:30 pm, Saturday and Sunday 12 noon to 4:30 pm and holiday Mondays 12 noon to 4:30 pm. General admission to the museum is by donation (there may be a fee for special events).
Backus-Page House Museum