African big game hunting became popular in Europe from the mid 1800s, particularly after Roualeyn Gordon-Cumming returned to Britain with 30 tons of animal trophies, and opened his collection to the public. The image of the heroic, white male hunter coincided with the development of photography, and thus the romantic notion of hunting in Africa, for the … Read more 42
The Dutch presence in India lasted from 1605 to 1825. In 1740, Douwe Mout van der Meer brought Clara, the Indian rhinoceros, on a seven-month sea voyage from Calcutta to Rotterdam. She had audiences with King Frederick II of Prussia and King Louis XV of France and died in 1758 in London after touring most … Read more 34
The sculpture, Rhinocéros was produced in 1878 by Henri Alfred Jacquemart to coincide with the Paris World Fair in the same year. It was initially displayed at the Trocadéro Palace and is currently housed outside the Musee d’Orsay. In 19th century Europe and America racial typology developed as a science of measurement and difference that … Read more 33
Machete: typically used for removing rhinoceros horns, laser cut with 5000 – the approximate number of remaining black rhinoceros and also the dollar price/100g paid for illicit rhino horn.
A case labelled “woodcutting tools belonging to Albrecht Durer, 1515” Dürer typically made relief prints, a technique whereby a matrix is incised, charged with ink and printed onto paper. Woodcuts are made using the long grain of a section of wood, whereas wood engravings are cut into the end grain, which allows for finer detail. Sharp … Read more 31
In the same year as he imagined the representation of the rhinoceros, Dürer completed engravings of the Northern and Southern celestial hemispheres. These were the first commercially printed star charts produced in Europe. While the northern constellations were fairly accurate, based on the charts of cartographer and mathematician Johnannes Stabius, and work by astronomer Conrad Heinfogel, the southern … Read more 30
Possibly anticipating high demand, Dürer rendered the image as a woodcut rather than an engraving, which allowed for faster reproduction and distribution. A large edition of 4000-5000 prints was revolutionary at this time in print history. In 2013 a copy of the woodcut was sold for $866,500 at Christie’s in New York today, setting an … Read more 28
A selection of hunters and collectors of rhinoceros over the past 300 years etched into rusted steel plate. Harry Manners: (1917–1997). African elephant hunter. 1000 elephants shot. P.T Barnum: (1810–1891). Founder of the Barnam and Bailey Circus that presented rhinos as performers in the 1870s. Also an exhibitor of people. Henry Hartley: (1815–1876). African big … Read more 24
Specimen labels from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and American Museum of Natural History. Specimens were collected in India and Africa, 1909-1963.
Photographs taken of the rhinoceros dioramas at the American Museum of Natural History, New York. The specimens in the black rhinoceros exhibit were taxidermied by Robert Rockwell and the background painted by Robert Cane, who travelled to Kenya with the Campbell expedition in 1937-8 to make sketches for the backdrop of Mount Kenya. James Perry … Read more 62