Throughout my travels, I have wandered past rows of glass cabinets, 19th century cupboards, zoological laboratories, and dioramas. I have been searching for Andrew Downs’ specimens— animals taken from the forests of Nova Scotia, who passed through the proprietor’s hands before joining zoological collections in museums abroad. At this time, I have yet to locate any such specimens with certainty; however, I have encountered displaced Canadian wildlife dispersed throughout each institution I entered. I visited as many animals as I could, carrying images of home to share with them.
The photo essay below documents my efforts.
A note: each image can be enlarged by clicking it. To return to the post, use the back arrow.
These photos are printed with permission from: Natural History Museum, London; Oxford University Museum of Natural History; Natural History Museum at Tring; The Department of Zoology, Cambridge University. Photographer: Chris Friel, Editing: Chris Friel, D’Arcy Wilson.
2 thoughts on “Part 2, Chapter 5: Visitation”
Frank Foster This really brings back memories. In the 50’s one of my first jobs was cleaning out the Gun and Trophy rooms of a Farming Estate Hall or Mansion, in Northumberland UK, that had recently been sold to an American. I was given the job of taking hundreds of display cases, mainly of birds and their eggs collected by the previous owners from around the world in the 1800’s. These were beautiful to me but were all dumped over the Estate Garbage Dump, along with harnesses and horse brasses from the stables, then being converted for cars. At the time no one valued them. The memory of them all being smashed and buried with the Estate Farms ‘night soil’ still bothers when I see such posts. frown emoticon
What a loss… I wonder if any of Andrew Downs’ specimens were in that lot.
Thanks for sharing your memory.