In this three-part lecture series, join taxidermist Allis Markham for an introduction to the art of taxidermy, featuring a full class dedicated to bird taxidermy.
While this class is designed for all beginners, it can serve as an appropriate next step for those who took Allis’ previous course.
Step inside the studio of Allis Markham, an award-winning taxidermist and educator, to learn the art, science, and ethics of preserving animal corpses. We’ll begin with a walk through the process of taxidermy; Allis will discuss techniques of both mammal and bird taxidermy—prepping skins, tanning leather, sculpting forms, mounting, and finishing work. Allis will spend the bulk of this class demonstrating the process of mounting a European Starling from start to finish, using techniques you can try at home.
By the end of this course, you’ll not only have a deeper understanding of taxidermy, but you’ll also be equipped with printable PDFs of each step and tools that will help you practice bird taxidermy at home. At the very least, you’ll leave this course with a new appreciation for the anatomy of the creatures you encounter in your neighborhood or backyard.
Syllabus at a Glance
There are three total sessions included in this purchase, each lasting for 1.5 hours on three consecutive Saturdays beginning February 20.
Session 1 (Saturday, 2/20, 3–4:30PM ET): How it’s done: taxidermy 101 & bird prep
Session 2 (Saturday, 2/27, 3–4:30PM ET): Bird prep & form creation
Session 3 (Saturday, 3/6, 3–4:30PM ET): Bird mounting, grooming, posing & ethical specimen sourcing
Atlas Obscura Online Courses
Our online courses offer opportunities for participants to emerge with new skills, knowledge, connections, and perspectives through multi-session classes designed and taught by expert instructors. Courses can take one of two forms: Seminars are intimate, interactive classes—capped at nine to 25 students—exploring topics and crafts through discussion, workshops, assignments, and in-class activities. We also offer lecture series that can be attended live, or viewed via a recording that will be shared within 72 hours after each session airs. Class recordings for lecture series will be available with a temporary password for up to two weeks following the final session of the course.
To learn more about our current course offerings, please visit www.atlasobscura.com/online-courses.
For answers to commonly asked questions, check out our FAQ page here.
Once registered, you’ll receive a confirmation email from Eventbrite that will provide access to the class meeting. Please save the confirmation email as you’ll use it to access your course via Zoom on each scheduled date and time.
Allis Markham is an award-winning taxidermist/nassologist based in Los Angeles, California. She was named Third in the World at the 2017 World Taxidermy Championships and was the 2018 California Champion, receiving Judges’ Choice Best of Show, People's Choice, and the Artisan Award from the United Taxidermist Association.
More recently, Allis has focused on museum work and public education, and taught the only taxidermy course in the country in recent years at Occidental College. She’s worked with institutions such as the Natural History Museum of Santa Barbara, Moore Lab of Zoology, The Huntington Library, The Frost Museum of Science, Colorado State University, and The Getty. Additionally, she’s created commissions for Gucci, The Nomad Hotel, EB Florals, and television shows such as Bates Motel. Allis has also been featured in numerous publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, the cover of LA Weekly, and more. You can also watch the critically acclaimed documentary STUFFED, which followed her for several years, or listen to her episode of Ologies.
This lecture series is designed so students can participate live or watch a recording after each session airs. Sessions will take place live over Zoom, with dedicated Q&A segments for students to ask questions via video or chat. Within 72 hours after each session airs, we will email all enrolled students a recording of the session, which they can watch using a temporary password for up to two weeks after the course concludes.
In most cases, instructors will use Google Classroom to communicate with students outside of class. While students aren’t required to use Google Classroom, instructors will be using this platform to post resources, discussion questions, and assignments, when applicable.
While this course is open to students of all ages, please be advised that your instructor will be handling biological specimens on-camera.