The first stuffed animals I ever saw were birds which had been shot by an uncle. The taxidermy had been done by a friend of his and the poor things were beginning to disintegrate in the Greek heat. I hated what had been done to them - and them too, especially as they seemed to be staring at me as I lay down for my siesta every afternoon.
Then of course there were the stuffed specimens in museums. (The ones above are part of Kelvingrove Museum's collection.) Such animals, shown in their environment fascinated me, despite the moth-eaten aspects of many of them. The nascent designer in me wanted to get fixing those dioramas! But in this day of wondrous wildlife films do we need stuffed animals any more?
And then there is art - or is it? These kittens-in-tableau are by Walter Potter, the picture from here. But there is something perhaps much more serious here:
Klaus Pichler: from Skeletons in the Closet project.
I have just posted an article about taxidermy in art - with more links on Ragged Cloth Café.