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  • Animal Afterlives

Photo by Alexandra Murphy
Alexandra Murphy: www.acm-photo.com

Animal Afterlives: a photography exhibition on taxidermy by Alexandra Murphy

Natural history museums display and store preserved animals in such a way that they, at first glance, appear to be living, but in reality they are lifeless and fixed in position. When these specimens are photographed, their stillness becomes further frozen in time. Alexandra Murphy has photographed different taxidermy specimen collections in UK and US museums, in an exploration of the photograph’s relationship with preservation, representation, life and death, past and present.

The works in the exhibition explore a range of different photographic methods and materials from retouched digital photographs, prints embedded in resin and nineteenth-century photographic processes to produce the salted paper print and carte-de-visite albumen print.

The artwork will be displayed throughout the Museum. Entry to the Museum, including the exhibition is free. If you are planning to visit at the weekend, please book a ticket https://www.museum.zoo.cam.ac.uk/visit-us

If you are visiting Tuesday to Friday, you can just turn up without a ticket. 

Date: Wednesday, 3 November, 2021 - 10:00 to Sunday, 30 January, 2022 - 16:00

Photo by Alexandra Murphy
Alexandra Murphy: www.acm-photo.com

About the artist

Alexandra Murphy has been researching the relationship between photography and taxidermy in museums since 2007. She has an exploratory approach to her photographic practice, incorporating a range of mixed media across digital and wet print processes. Alexandra's work can be viewed on her website: www.acm-photo.com.

Photo by Alexandra Murphy
Alexandra Murphy: www.acm-photo.com

To read more about the history and interpretation, read our Assistant Director Jack Ashby’s piece for the Natural Sciences Collections Association linked to this exhibition: Animal Afterlives: Photography, Dioramas, and Forgetting that Taxidermy is Dead.