Last chance to see: Anthropomorphic Taxidermy at the Museum of Everything
Walter Potter (1835-1918) was a self-taught English taxidermist who created elaborate anthropomorphic tableaux of small mammals and birds. These dioramas, along with various other odd items, were put on display in Potter's museum in Bramber, Sussex.
After his death, the museum continued to be run by his daughter and grandson before closing in 1970. The collection was moved to Brighton and Arundel before being sold, in 1984, to the owners of the Jamaica Inn in Bolventor, Cornwall. With the financial viability of the museum waning, in 2003 Potter's collection was split up and sold by Bonhams auction house.
A small fraction of Potter's anthropomorphic taxidermy has been brought together again for a temporary exhibition at The Museum of Everything, located in Primrose Hill, North London. The tableaux on display include The Death and Burial of Cock Robin and The House That Jack Built (depicting English nursery rhymes), The Upper Ten (an upper-class gentlemen's club in which red squirrels smoke, drink, and play cards), and The Lower Five (a seedy lower-class establishment in which disreputable rats brawl and gamble).
The exhibition, originally to have ended at Christmas, 2010, has been extended to Valentine's Weekend, 2011. In addition to Walter Potter's works, the exhibition is displaying pieces of circus paraphernalia. Entrance to the Museum is free, with a suggested donation of £3.