Thursday, August 11, 2016

Help us Bring Victorian Taxidermist Walter Potter’s 1890s Kittens' Wedding to New York!

Greetings! This is a letter from Joanna Ebenstein, co-founder and creative director of the Morbid Anatomy Museum.

Some of you might recall a book I authored a few years ago with Dr Pat Morris called Walter Potter's Curious World of Taxidermy. While working the book, I was lucky enough to see and photograph many of famous tableaux of eccentric Victorian taxidermist Walter Potter, which had been divided at auction about 10 years ago before.

One of his most iconic pieces, The Kittens' Wedding (see above) has entered our community of collectors. Its new owner, Mrs. Sabrina N. Hansen, has very generously agreed to allow us to exhibit it, so long as we can pay for safe and professional transportation and insurance.

We have just launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds to do so, on which more here. We have made available lots of perks, including custom limited-edition Potter photos and postcards of photos from my own collection; tickets to the exhibit and opening party; downloads of Filmmaker in Residence Ronni Thomas' award winning Potter documentary The Man Who Married Kittens; AND most excitingly, tours of the homes of private homes of collectors of Potteralia around the world where you can see pieces in their native habitat!

Following is information on some of the collectors who have kindly agreed to open their homes. Again, you can find out more here. Thanks for considering lending your support to this project!

The Home Collection of Dr Pat Morris, co-author of Walter Potter's Curious World of Taxidermy , who holds the argest collection of Potter pieces and ephemera including The Death and Burial of Cock Robin, A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed, an eight legged kitten, and Potter’s pet cat and dog.

The home of collection of Errol Fuller (author of Voodoo Salon) featuring Walter Potter’s Athletic Toads, his only mechanized tableau; Fencing mice with mole undertakers by Hermann Plouquet (above; circa 1850); a passenger pigeon; and, in his worlds, a Charles Waterton Saki Monkey "deformed to look like a little hairy man" (circa 1825).

The home of John Whitenight (author of Under Glass: A Victorian Obsession) and Fred LaValley, containing a collection of extraordinary 19th century taxidermy including Potters Monkey and Goat, along with rare French automatons (one that smokes a cigarette!), plus period rooms containing an array of Victorian furniture and decorative objects all of which are contained in a circa 1865 Philadelphia townhouse.

The home collection of Carol Holzer's collection, featuring Walter Potter’s two-faced kitten, a taxidermied lion, and many more pieces of taxidermy and assorted curiosities.

Find out more here.

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