A Look at Walter Potter's Curious World of Taxidermy with Joanna Ebenstein

Co-Founder of Brooklyn's Morbid Anatomy Museum discusses the work of English Taxidermist Walter Potter plus a special UK screening of a screening of Ronni Thomas' award winning short documentary about Potter--The Man Who Married Kittens


Oct 10th 2017 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

The Last Tuesday Society

11 Mare Street

£12 General Admission 

£17 Admission + Hendricks Cocktail


The Last Tuesday Society invites you to join us on Tuesday 11th October 7:00pm-9:00pm for a look at Walter Potter's Curious World of Taxidermy with Brooklyn-based curator, author and co-founder of the Morbid Anatomy Museum, Joanna Ebenstein featuring a screening of the award winning short documentary about Potter--The Man Who Married Kittens--by former Morbid Anatomy Museum Filmmaker in Residence Ronni Thomas.

Walter Potter (1835-1918), an amateur English taxidermist of no great expertise, became famous as an icon of Victorian whimsy with his anthropomorphic creations. Multi-legged kittens, two-headed lambs and a bewildering assortment of curios crammed his tiny museum in Bramber, Sussex, and inspired future generations of taxidermists to come.

The curious world of Potter's museum was permanently closed to the public in the '70s, after which time it was variously re-established before being auctioned off in 2003. It was reported that a £1M bid by Damien Hirst to keep the collection intact was refused, but in 2010 many of Potter's key pieces were exhibited by the artist Sir Peter Blake at London's 'Museum of Everything', attracting over 30,000 visitors in 6 weeks.

The subsequent dispersal of Potter's works has meant the loss of a truly unique Victorian legacy. Together with co-author Dr Pat Morris, Joanna Ebenstein preserves and celebrates the collection with new photographs of Potter's best-loved works in their book Walter Potter's Curious World of Taxidermy.

Tonight, learn more about Potter with a short talk by Ebenstein paired with a screening of The Man Who Married Kittens, a short documentary look at one of Victorian England's most enigmatic and quirky characters. Amateur taxidermist, Walter Potter, became an unlikely success by putting his creatures in human positions and scenarios, referred to as anthropomorphic taxidermy. Potter's Museum, filled with his creations and collection of oddities and curiosities dazzled millions for over a hundred years until the collection's unfortunate separation in 2003. While largely about the man and his creations, the film also takes a look at the obsessive nature of collecting, as well as the controversial history of stuffing dead animals

Joanna Ebenstein is a Brooklyn-based writer, curator, artist and graphic designer. She is the creator of the Morbid Anatomy blog, library and event series, and was cofounder and creative director of the recently shuttered Morbid Anatomy Museum in Brooklyn. She is author of The Anatomical Venus, editor of the forthcoming Death: A Graveside Companion (October 2017), and co-author, with Dr Pat Morris, of Walter Potter’s Curious World of Taxidermy. She works regularly with such institutions as The Wellcome Collection and Amsterdam's Vrolik Museum, and her writing and photography have been published and exhibited internationally. Her work explores the intersections of art and medicine, death and culture, and the objective and subjective.

Like many film hopefuls, Ronni Thomas started making films at about 9 years old when his father bought one of the first camcorder backpack units that had come on the market. He remade classics such as Faces of Death and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre with his Brooklyn neighborhood friends. Since then, his films have screed at festivals around the world as well as museums and institutions ranging from Carnegie Hall and The MET in NY to the Horniman Museum in the UK. They've been Honored by BAFTA, Tribeca Film Institute, Raindance Film UK, The British Independent Film Awards and many other prestigious venues. Ronni got his official start in film at Troma in 2000, producing DVD content for the legendary horror outfit. From there, he teamed up with underground maverick Lech Kowlaski (DOA, The Boot Factory) and together they made Hey Is Dee Dee Home with Punk icon Dee Dee Ramone. Eventually he found his place in short film and digital content working heavily with Morbid Anatomy and the now defunct Brooklyn Observatory. His award winning short narrative Radio Girl featured collaboration with long time composer and friend Stephen Coates (The Real Tuesday Weld) and The Witch director, Robert Eggers. His Midnight Archive web series went on to critical acclaim both on the small and big screens, garnering praise from Time.com to boingboing and io9, to Forbes magazine, before being co-opted for Discovery Channel's digital network. His short doc Walter Potter : The Man Who Married Kittens would be nominated for best short at the prestigious Tribeca Film festival, Raindance Film Fest, and Hot Springs International and wind honors at Morbido fest Puebla, Mexico.

His latest project. VON COSEL focuses on Key West necrophile Carl von Cosel. The film is a feature length narrative that chronicles the life of a man who spent 7 years sleeping with the corpse of a patient he felt an immortal bond with. It is currently in pre-production with indie film legend Ed Pressman. For films and more information, visit themidnightarchive.com

7:00pm: Bar opens for pre-lecture drinks
7:30pm - 8:30pm: Lecture follwed by brief Q&A
8:30pm-9:00pm: Bar will remain open for a post-lecture drink & discussion
*Guests will not be allowed entry after 7:45pm to avoid interrupting the lecture. If you are running late, please let us know asap