I was interested to see in the news this morning that taxidermy is considered very fashionable at the moment. The art of the taxidermist has of course been used to great effect by the artist Damien Hirst in the 1990s. More recently Kate Moss bought artist Polly Morgan's work 'To Every Seed His Own Body', which features a mounted specimen of a blue tit on a prayer book.
Like many things, taxidermy never out of fashion at National Museums Liverpool. You can read more about the work that our staff do to preserve and display our important collections in the taxidermy department page on the website.
Above is one of my favourite pictures from the department, showing taxidermist James Jackson with World Museum Liverpool's mounted specimen of a Tarpon. The photo was taken a couple of years ago when the Tarpon had just been conserved after it had returned from a long term loan to Poole Aquarium. The specimen is a particularly large and good example of this species, also known as the Silver King, which can grow up to 8 foot long and weigh 300lbs. In the wild it is found in the warm coastal waters and estuaries of North and South America and on the other side of the Atlantic on the coast of West Africa. It is a popular sport fish and is much sought after by anglers because of its fighting capabilities and bony mouth, which makes it difficult to hook.