The Millbrook Collection
The Millbrook taxidermy collection is staggering in its breadth and beauty. It is home to approximately 500 taxidermy mammals, birds, reptiles, various skulls, hundreds of birds nests as well as over 10,000 eggs from the Walcott Egg Collection. The whole collection encompasses rare and endangered species from all over the world, covering an extraordinary period of time, with pieces dating back to the 1800's. In addition to the exotic, it is an excellent record of local wildlife and hosts examples of birds of prey found and preserved by students on campus. Beyond its impressive numbers, the Millbrook collection has a story to tell. For example, during the renovation of the science building, hundred of boxes and tins were uncovered beneath the floorboards. Each tin contained a bird's nest, wrapped carefully in newspaper from the 1920s and accompanied by a handwritten description of its contents. In addition, beautifully handwritten personal letters and journals from the original collectors were also discovered.
This series documents the history of these pieces, photographing them with their original records when possible and isolating each piece on a black background. The artifacts are precious and beautiful in their own right and the photographs depicting them capture every facial expression and every mark from the passage of time and scar from the taxidermy procedure. By documenting these pieces in isolation, viewers will be able to appreciate the uniqueness of each piece. Together the photographs tell a story that weaves together history, biology the pursuit of knowledge and man's relationship to the natural world and will offer the wider world access to the wonders of this collection.