Moving Animals

Vanessa Bateman was in Paris in January where she conducted research at Bibliothèque centrale du Jardin des Plantes. This included reading through old issues of sporting and nature periodicals from the early 20th century, and finding visual evidence of the link between camera hunting, traveling film lectures, and conservation.

While in Paris, Vanessa presented her research on field naturalist and taxidermist Martha Maxwell (1831-1881) at a conference to mark the occasion of the “Rosa Bonheur (1822-1899)” exhibition at the Musée d’Orsay. The conference, La vache, le cheval et la lionne. être artiste, femme, et vivre avec les animaux au XIX siècle, showcased new scholarship on women in art and science working with animals (or the animal subject), and was held at the Musée d’Orsay and Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature. Vanessa’s paper, “Martha Maxwell, Rosa Bonheur, and Women Working Across the Boundaries of Art and Science, Wild and Domestic” revealed the role women played in the re-imagination of animals in the nineteenth century, and how domestic forms of craft and display were important to the modernization of taxidermy.

Images: (left) Vanessa at the Rosa Bonheur exhibit at the Musée d’Orsay; (right) Advertisement for filmo motion-picture cameras in Nature Magazine 1930.