Video tour of Walter Potter's anthropomorphic taxidermy

[video link] Morbid Anatomy's Joanna posted this excellent c.1965 film documenting a visit to the museum of English taxidermist Walter Potter (1835-1918). Sadly, the Potter collection was cannibalized for auction in 2003.


  1. Yes, “leading people to formulate their own fairy tales in their own words”. Those words being creepy and outre.

  2. I first came across his work via the sleeve art of a Piano Magic record in the late 90s.  Fantastically creepy stuff.  Suits the music well.

  3. My sister and I were taken to see this collection when it was in the Jamaica Inn in Cornwall. Bear in mind that we were both children and both vegetarian.

    Not the best family day out ever.

  4. Taxidermied kittens: he was a sick, sick man.  How anyone can think that is cute, or tasteful, is beyond me.  I hope he was stuffed in a humorous pose and put on display when he died.

    1. I think they are completely delightful!

      I actually have more than a vague desire to pursue taxidermy as a hobby one day.

  5. “Walter Potter was famous for his ‘Squirrels Club’.  As an artist, he suffered simply because there was no one to compare him with.  But see how sensitive he could be, when he took time off from stuffing cherished pets, his bread-and-butter job.”

    I saw a lot of suffering (and horror) in that video.  The suffering of the artist didn’t occur to me.  So misunderstood.  (deep sarcasm)

    Scooter!  Come here, baby, your human needs a hug!

  6. Wait- do we know where he sourced his kittens from? Did he hunt them and then stuff them like you would with a deer, or did he get euthanized kittens from the pound, which like today, kills and disposes of lots of kittens a year? 

    1. honest answer, he made the form out of wood and cut and shaped skin to fit over it. i can’t remember if he used actual bull/cow skin or not. i saw the exhibition 10 years ago and asked the same question to a guide.

  7. Any relation to Beatrix Potter? The forms and poses look eerily similar to her illustrations for Peter Rabbit, etc.

    As far as animal cruelty: I would imagine the critters were already dead when he started skinning them and creating the figures. Or are there really that many animists here on Boing-boing?

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