Stuffed Animals and Pickled Heads by Stephen T. Asma
The Culture and Evolution of Natural History Museums

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 1 Critic Review



The natural history museum is a place where the line between "high" and "low" culture effectively vanishes--where our awe of nature, our taste for the bizarre, and our thirst for knowledge all blend happily together. But as Stephen Asma shows in Stuffed Animals and Pickled Heads, there is more going on in these great institutions than just smart fun.
Asma takes us on a wide-ranging tour of natural history museums in New York and Chicago, London and Paris, interviewing curators, scientists, and exhibit designers, and providing a wealth of fascinating observations. We learn how the first museums were little more than high-toned side shows, with such garish exhibits as the pickled head of Peter the Great's lover. In contrast, today's museums are hot-beds of serious science, funding major research in such fields as anthropology and archaeology.
"Rich in detail, lucid explanation, telling anecdotes, and fascinating characters.... Asma has rendered a fascinating and credible account of how natural history museums are conceived and presented. It's the kind of book that will not only engage a wide and diverse readership, but it should, best of all, send them flocking to see how we look at nature and ourselves in those fabulous legacies of the curiosity cabinet."--The Boston Herald.

About Stephen T. Asma

See more books from this Author
Stephen T. Asma is Professor of Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Humanities at Columbia College, in Chicago. He has written articles on a broad range of topics that bridge the humanities and sciences, including pieces in Chronicle of Higher Education and The Humanist, and he is a regular contributor to Skeptic Magazine. The author of the bestselling Buddha for Beginners, he lives in Chicago.
Published March 13, 2003 by Oxford University Press. 320 pages
Genres: History, Education & Reference, Nature & Wildlife, Arts & Photography, Science & Math, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Stuffed Animals and Pickled Heads

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Artfully posed human skeletons and monster fetuses in jars are the stuff of Stephen T. Asma's fascinating Stuffed Animals and Pickled Heads: The Culture and Evolution of Natural History Museums. A

Apr 01 2001 | Read Full Review of Stuffed Animals and Pickled H...

Reader Rating for Stuffed Animals and Pickled Heads

An aggregated and normalized score based on 8 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review