In its exhibition Masterpieces of Taxidermy, the Museum für Naturkunde not only showcases unique specimens, but also gives visitors an insight into the work of a natural history museum.
Taxidermy is an essential part of museum work in natural history museums. After all, their reemit is to collect, research, preserve and communicate. Requirements for taxidermy differ greatly, depending on the particular purpose. When animals are prepared for the main collection, saving space is an important aspect. Of mammals and birds, often, only the skin is prepared. Skeletons must be degreased, and bones are stored in space-saving boxes. If, however, animals are mounted to be exhibited, no effort is spared to make the animal appear as natural and alive as possible.
From their early beginnings, the taxidermy workshops of the Museum have been setting high standards and developing innovative methods. Whether it is Bobby the Gorilla, mounted dinosaur skeletons or Knut the Polar Bear, not to mention several taxidermies that were awarded world champion titles – the mounted animals meet with international recognition and appreciation. The exhibition shows a selection of mounted animals that are closely connected to the history of the Museum.