Grace Cossington Smith outside her home Turramurra, 1915.
Taxidermy is considered an art for practitioners and collectors. For others, it’s the unnatural preservation and distortion of life. However one views the subject, it is still oddly compelling to look at.
Object: Plastered human skull
Period: Pre-Pottery Neolithic
Dimensions: H: 15.2cm. W: 16.7cm. L: 22cm.
Description: skull of adult male without the mandible (probably removed before deposit); an artificial chin was provided to give the face a natural appearance. Built up in clay and plastered with a smooth surface, coloured brownish-red (iron oxide, probably ochre). The plastering does not extend over the cranial vault, perhaps originally provided with some other material to simulate hair.
The Ashmolean Museum
Jaroslava Mucha (1909-1986) was the daughter of renowned Art Nouveau painter/illustrator Alphonse Mucha (who was also a cutie). Much of her life remains to be somewhat of a mystery, but we do know that she inherited her father’s artistic talent and dedicated her life to the conservation of his work. Also, she was quite the beauty!
November is Native American Heritage Month
All photos by Edward S. Curtis via the Library of Congress, original captions: