Have you ever imagined what it would be like to sip your brandy while mingling with some of the premier scientists and explorers back in the 1800s. Distinguished gentleman wearing top hats and long coats; surrounded by millions of fossils, geological displays, and stuffed and mounted animals. I can only imagine the likes of Charles Darwin, John Tyndall, and David Livingstone debating various theories. Well there is one place in the world that makes me feel like that, and it happens every time I step foot in the Natural History Museum or better known as the Dead Museum. The building itself dates back to 1856 of the Royal Dublin Society.
When you walk in the first floor you are immediately greeted by three Irish elk skeletons. The antlers on these guys easily stretch 8 feet across. Then behind them is countless displays of more animals, fish, and fossils.
The second floor though is the best. Here you have a large room with two levels of balconies wrapping around the main floor. It is all illuminated by a massive skylight above. The whole place feels very Victorian to me. There is a blue whale skeleton hanging down from the ceiling, with a much smaller whale next to it. There are large cases with stuffed animals in them, lions, wolves, bears and such rarities as the Tasmanian Tiger. There are giraffes, rhinos, elephant, and much more mounted in naturalistic poses. On the second-floor balcony there are 1000s of birds, including one of the last Dodo’s. Third floor is butterflies and insects. On all the post holding up the balconies are mounted deer, zebra, and unicorn heads. Ok maybe not Unicorn heads, but there is a narwhale.
This is my favorite spot in all of Dublin. I did this illustration for the Wild Ones show in Dublin. I went to the Dead Museum 5 times over a couple of months to finish this en plain air. It was thrilling and I am thinking of going back to work on another one.
This piece is for sale and can be found on my website with other art.