Article ID: CBB000933009

Anthony Alder (1838--1915), Queensland Taxidermist and Bird Painter (2010)


Anthony Alder was born into a family of taxidermists and naturalists and was a talented and dedicated taxidermist and bird painter. He first visited Queensland in the 1860s collecting natural history specimens in remote Cape York Peninsula at the beginning of settlement there. He returned to England to carry on the family taxidermy business, but returned to Queensland in 1875 and established as a taxidermist in Brisbane. Except for a short period as a hotel proprietor, Alder operated continuously as a commercial taxidermist until 1907 when he achieved his long-held wish to be employed as taxidermist in the Queensland Museum. He exhibited his taxidermic work widely at the Queensland stands of major international exhibitions of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the exhibits generally characterized by his penchant for the dramatic and the anthropocentric. The style and design of his oil paintings of Queensland birds are reflective of his taxidermic perspective, either as anthropocentric expressions of bird personalities, or as museum displays of bird diversity. Alder was the only significant local painter of Queensland birds in the late nineteenth century and his work is not only of historical significance, but is also aesthetically appealing in the richness of its colour and the taxidermic basis of its design.

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Authors & Contributors
Dickenson, Victoria J. V.
Morris, Pat A.
Attenborough, David
Bleichmar, Daniela
Gaskell, Roger
Gill, B. J.
Archives of Natural History
Notes and Records: The Royal Society Journal of the History of Science
Centaurus: International Magazine of the History of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Colonial Latin American Review
Journal of the History of Collections
Renaissance Studies
National Library of Australia
Antique Collectors' Club
Princeton University Press
University of California Press
University of New South Wales Press
Basilisken-Presse im Verlag Natur & Text
Natural history
Painters and painting
Scientific illustration
Science and art
Collectors and collecting
Taylor White
Banks, Joseph
Bartram, John
Baudin, Nicolas
Bauer, Ferdinand
Catesby, Mark
Time Periods
19th century
18th century
20th century, early
17th century
20th century
North Carolina (U.S.)
McGill University (Canada)
Oxford University Museum of Natural History

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