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Modern NatureThe Rise of the Biological Perspective in Germany$
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Lynn K. Nyhart

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780226610894

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226610924.001.0001

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Bringing Life to Natural History

Bringing Life to Natural History

(p.35) Chapter Two Bringing Life to Natural History
Modern Nature
University of Chicago Press

This chapter describes taxidermy and museum collections in relation to natural history. Philipp Leopold Martin's aim was to raise the profile of practice within natural history and simultaneously to make living nature more accessible. A picture of the political economy of natural history in the German states is presented. A central theme of Martin's Praxis of Natural History was a reformist impulse to reconstruct dead animals in a way that was both “natural” and “lively.” Martin knew of both Herrmann Ploucquet's and Franz Leven's work and may have been inspired by them to pursue his own path to a private museum of animal reconstructions in the mid-1860s. The museums of Martin, Ploucquet, and Leven might be viewed as “public” in the sense of seeking a general audience, but they differed from the museums run by states, cities, and voluntary organizations.

Keywords:   taxidermy, museum collections, Philipp Leopold Martin, natural history, political economy, German states, Herrmann Ploucquet, Franz Leven

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