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Modern taxidermy : mounting the Indian elephant

Identifier: Film Collection no. 214

Scope and Contents

This film opens with footage taken from Jungle Life in India, showing the Indian elephant in his natural habitat and Arthur Stannard Vernay, John Champion Faunthorpe, and Louis Jonas, all members of the Faunthorpe-Vernay Indian Expedition, marching through the jungle with their native staff. Then, in a studio at the AMNH, the mounting of the elephant takes place. This film is an interesting and valuable record of museum methods. Louis Jonas, museum taxidermist and Carl Akeley's student, mounts the Indian elephant for the Hall of Asiatic Mammals by using the method invented and perfected by Carl Akeley. Each step, from soaking and tanning the skin to modeling, constructing the mannequin and clothing it with skin, is portrayed. This method differs slightly from the usual Akeley method in that the skin is laid over the wet plaster and worked in. After it has dried it is then reinforced from the inside with papier mache.


  • 1926-1927

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Not available through interlibrary loan. Contact AMNH Library Special Collections for terms of access.


1 Film Reel (15 minutes) : silent, black and white ; 16 mm.

1 Videocassette (U-Matic (15 minutes)) : silent, black and white ; 3/4 in.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

3/4 in., U-Matic, viewing copy


Original format: 16 mm. print.


Modern taxidermy : mounting the Indian elephant, 1926-1927
Iris Lee
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
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Repository Details

Part of the Museum Archives at the Gottesman Research Library Repository

American Museum of Natural History
200 Central Park West
New York NY 10024 USA
(212) 769-5420