Thursday, June 4, 2009

Cress Funeral Home, Madison, Wisconsin

Morbid Anatomy reader Diane Fox recently tipped me off to the truly spectacular Cress Funeral Home in Madison, Wisconsin. I asked her to write a short review about Cress to accompany her wonderful photographs (see above! click on image to see larger version). Here is what she had to say:
Cress Funeral Home in Madison, Wisconsin is a place not to be missed. Downstairs you will find a plethora of taxidermied animals mounted on walls or arranged in anthropomorphized settings in aquariums. Sam Sanfillippo, the owner of the funeral home, became interested in albino squirrels and hired Vito Marchino to preserve a couple that had died on the golf range. When friends found out about his interest, they began dropping off or sending dead squirrels his way. You will find several taxidermied squirrels, including several albinos. Squirrels play poker with each other, ride horses, carry guns, drive cars and visit a fair. Fish cover the walls and the area is lit by a couple of deer hoof lamps. In the two rooms there is no place left empty of Sam Sanfillippo‘s macabre touch.
Thanks so much, Diane, for sending in this review and the lovely photographs! Just for a bit of 4D fun, I have supplemented these with the video you see above, entitled "Cress Funeral Home Squirrel Display," by "Decider + Madison" and found on YouTube.

To see more of Diane Fox's work, check out her website by clicking here. You can visit the Cress Funeral Service website by clicking here; more about the collection and the Cress Funeral Home collection and founder--with more photos!--can be found on the wonderful Roadside America website; click here to access that story.

Oh! And a brief side-note: if any there are any other readers out there who might be interested in to contributing reviews to Morbid Anatomy, please contact me at

Photos: Diane Fox. Top to Bottom: Cowboy, Cress Funeral Home, Madison, Wisconsin; Squirrels Dancing, Cress Funeral Home, Madison, Wisconsin; Squirrel Bar, Cress Funeral Home, Madison, Wisconsin


chloeraub said...

Wonderful post, great blog! Just wanted to tell you how much I love your blog/work, it's terribly interesting. I posted some pictures and a link to your blog entry about St. Roch Chapel, I hope you don't mind - I'm from New Orleans, so it was very near and dear to me. Thanks for keeping up the information on such fascinating things!

Moxie said...

Love, love, love that funeral home. I've been there twice just to see all the animals. It's kind of beautiful and a train wreck all at the same time.

amber d. said...

Diane Fox's photos are also tremendous. More quiet, beautiful, haunting work. I don't know how you keep with it all Joanna! You're a superstar.

Alice Jones said...

It's very fantastic blog!! I really love your blog. It seems good and interesting. Much appreciated.............

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for all of these great pictures! I have never been to a funeral home that was like that before. I really like all of the animals. I would think that this would really brighten up the mood. Thanks again for the great post!

Unknown said...

Your work is great! I've been to a lot of funeral homes and this one tops them all. How did you start this? I would be very interested in learning more!