Seldec Ossuary

Hello Again!

I’m sorry that I didn’g get back to my posting last Tuesday as planned…funny story actually…I fainted in a drug store and then had to undergo some tests and such, but everythings fine and now I just get to relish in my embarassment. Haha! But anyways, I’m back in action here at Taxidermy and the 20th Century!

Okey dokey. So while I was away on vacation, I started to think about where would be some of the oddest places to travel. Of cource catacombs and haunted houses came to mind, but I was thinking about something more original, per se. So, after some digging I found what I think might be one of the absolute oddest and most beautiful places: The Seldec Ossuary in the Czech Republic.

As chance would have it, I unintentionally used a picture from the Seldec Ossuary in one of my previous posts about a wonderful Facebook page! What initially stood out to me was the artistic nature of the place. Not only is it grand and overwhelming, but it also has a sort of symmetry to it which is captivating.

The Seldec Ossuary is home to between 40,000 to 70,000 humans (well, their remains for that matter). In 1870, the Ossuary realised that it was in a bit of a disarray (a hoarders situation) and had to do something to bring some organization to the place. They hired woodcarver Frantisek Rint to “bring some order” to the place. What he ended up creating was a macebre mass of architecture.

Even though it may seem a bit like a specialised taste to want to visit a place like this, the Seldec Ossuary is actually one of the Czech Republic’s most visited attractions. It attracts over 200,000 visitors a year….hopefully i can add to that number.

Thanks for hanging in there with us!


Picture Source:!/2011/01/sedlec-ossuary.html


Subversive Cross Stitching

Cross Stitching is an extremely easy craft to learn and offers immediate gratification. That is why I am never found without a project in my purse and on my nightstand. Unfortunately, however, this craft has become rather typical…I always feel like I’m seeing the same sampler or flower display. That is what makes subversive cross stitching so special…

It is always nice to see a touch of humor and updating brought to a time tested tradition. It brightens it up and makes it more accessible for everyone. Instead of blabbering on for awhile about it, I rather just show you a few pieces. These pieces really speak for themselves…haha!


PS: I tried to not use any too vulgar…but they can get quite funny ;)


The Gaza Zoo


I have always thought that opening up a zoo of taxidermy would be a wonderful idea. Getting to touch dangerous or exotic animals would be such a mesmerizing experience! However, I recently came across a taxidermy zoo that isn’t quite as enchanting as I expected…

At the Khan Younis Zoo in the Gaza Strip, animals that die are stuffed and then put back on display. Normally, I would cringe at the usage of the word “stuffed” when discussing taxidermy; however in this case that is exactly what is done. Professional taxidermists as well as supplies are scarce here, so the animals are preserved using sawdust and formaldehyde. This grotesque method has led to the animals missing chunks of skin, eyes, and even limbs. This crude method was learned online.

This abundance of decaying animals can be in part due to the lack of veterinary attention (medical advice is given over the phone from a vet in Egypt), hunger, and the dangerous conditions associated with the Gaza Strip.

Conditions don’t improve much for the living animals. In an attempt to create a zebra display, donkeys were painted with stripes. The cages are assembled from fences that surrounded a Jewish settlement in Israel that was dismantled in 2005.

Anti-Israeli propaganda disguised as humorous human interest?

The only animals on display native to the area are the birds. All of the other animals were smuggled in.

Although it is somewhat morbid and macabre, this zoo does provide an otherwise unattainable experience for local children. Many of them would otherwise never get to experience these animals, and even in their despicable state, they are a treat to see.



Cornelia Parker: An Instant in Time

Cornelia Parker

What you are seeing now is a sculpture of an artist who tried to recreate a moment that existed for merely an instant. This instant can never be truly recreated, of course, but Cornelia Parker sure as hell will try.

She prides herself in archiving the unusual, the overlooked, the moment when everything is in movement and we, as humans, cannot perceive all of the stimulus in the moment. She plays with shadows and tries to make movement in things that are still so that we can stop and admire a moment that we couldn’t before. A British sculptor, Cornelia Parker lives and works in London on continually installing her unorthodox artwork.

Cornelia Parker

I was first put onto her trail by a friend, and now I just can’t get enough. Parker suspends items, often burnt wood or stone, with fishing wire. If you take a gander at the piece to the left, you can see the way in which it almost feels like it is fragmenting before your very eyes. To see them in person is even more unnerving. Suddenly, it seems as if time has stopped, and you are simply observing this for a moment before it continues on.

She hosted an installation recently at the ICA in Boston, where my friend stumbled across her works. What a great discovery!

She doesn’t only work with wood, but I feel so drawn to her pieces that are wood! Let’s take a peek at a few that also demonstrate what she captures without being simply a burnt shed, shall we?

Cornelia Parker

She struggles with the volatile and unusual. A rockslide in motion? Not too difficult for this sculptor. What is truly inspiring about her installations is to walk around them and perceive them from every angle. New things pop out to you at every turn! Everything hangs in suspension. It truly is an eerie, awe-inspiring sight and experience and I encourage anyone who can to endorse her work and try to visit when an installation comes to your area.

Cornelia Parker

In conclusion, I’d like to stop and think about for a moment what makes art so wonderful. Our modern perception of art, full of controversies and hypocrisies, often frustrates me. How much I long to return to the times of aesthetic impressionism or glorious realism! But then I turn to de Kooning, to Wilde, to all sorts of 20th and 21st century painters who I enjoy and I can’t help but be grateful that I live in an era when I can appreciate whatever sort of art I’d like!


Photos Courtesy of:

For The Love of Dapper Gentlemen!

There are few things better in life than a well dressed man. A and I have had numerous conversations online where all we do is send pictures of men in Burberry suits back and forth…

I am not lying to you when I say that I will stop dead in my tracks and admire a man’s properly fitted pants. One particular man that stands out to me is an old high school teacher. He was by no means attractive, but every day I would pause for a moment and point out to all of my friends (girls and boys) how fabulous his pants were. Not too baggy in the rear nor too tight. Tapered down the calf and expertly hemmed. And every day their reaction would be the same…they would tell me how creepy I was.

Nothing, though, prepared me for the overwhelming joy that bespoke suits would bring to me. These suits are as custom as a suit can be. Every pattern is made to the customer’s specific measurements and numerous fittings follow until the suit fits every inch perfectly.

For my birthday this year, I’m hopefully going to get a custom made suit. Hopefully I can keep from falling over when I see the expert tailoring in everyone’s suits there. To conclude, I will share with you some pictures of (in my opinion) today’s top three best dressed men (in no order).

Mr. Scott Disick:

Although Mr. Disick is often looked down upon, I have been numbed to him by his grand style. No one else can look so preppy and yet classic at the same time. The confidence that he carries himself with only add to the perfect fit of his clothing.

Scott Disick | Suits

Mr. Ryan Matthew Cohn:

I have mentioned Mr. Cohn’s wonderful suits briefly before, but now is a wonderful time to showcase his tremendous style. After a bit of research, I discovered that he is co-owner of New York’s Against Nature (a bespoke suit shop), and by odd coincidence, where I was planning on getting my suit made. He designs the jewelry and leatherwork for the shop.

Mr. Donald Trump Jr.:

I do not watch “The Apprentice” for the show itself, but rather, just to see Mr. Trump’s clothing. He is so elegant and had the clothing to match!

Donald Trump Jr. with wife Vanessa


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