GUEST POST: A jar of pickled moles, haunting trees, Friday disasters and anatomy museum corpses- a smorgasbord of interesting things from curator Neil Lebeter

Jar of pickled moles from the Grant Museum of Zoology, University College London.

Jar of pickled moles from the Grant Museum of Zoology, University College London. (Image: xtinalamb, via Flickr. Click image to go to source)

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Agnes Richter’s embroidered straitjacket

Embroidered straitjacked by asylum patient Agnes Richter, 1890s.

Straitjacket embroidered by asylum patient Agnes Richter in the 1890s. (Image: This Is Not Modern Art tumblr)

Agnes Richter was a German seamstress held as a patient in an insane asylum during the 1890s. During her time there, she densely embroidered her straitjacket with words, undecipherable phrases and drawings which  documented her thoughts and feelings throughout her time there. This remarkable object was collected by Hans Prinzhorn, a psychiatrist who ardently collected the artwork of his patients at a Heidelberg psychiatric hospital in the early 20th century. Continue reading

A strange humanoid creature: Charles Waterton’s ‘Nondescript’

Weird humanoid creature made by Charles Waterton.

Charles Waterton, The ‘Nondescript’, ca 1824. (Wakefield Museum)

I think that probably every person, at some point in their lives, gets the urge to make their own ridiculously interesting creature out of the shaved a** of a monkey. (Right?) Well this grim little fellow is the product of that impulse, created around 1824 by an eccentric but well-respected 19th century English naturalist, Charles Waterton (1782-1865). Continue reading