Taxidermist uses dead baby goats as hats

Could you be the next to model a goat fetus hat? Dare to dream. Could you be the next to model a goat fetus hat? Dare to dream.

Not everyone can pull off a hat topped with a goat fetus. Or can they?

“It sounds creepy, but it’s just a really teeny tiny baby goat. I’m excited about it,” says Beth Beverly of Diamond Tooth Taxidermy, the place to call for all your ethically responsible taxidermy needs. A show of Beverly’s specimens, from “chickens interacting with strange objects” to feathery hats, opens tonight at Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, as part of the boutique/gallery’s First Friday celebration.

Beverly started teaching herself the art of stuffing and mounting animals in 2000, thanks to a few dead birds. “They crashed into windows and I had a nagging feeling, thinking that they were just going to rot on the sidewalk,” she says. “I thought ‘Look at all that beauty going to waste.’”
She makes both wearable pieces, like brooches and the goat hat, and more traditional mounts, though you won’t find her off hunting big game. Beverly prefers animals that have died naturally — which she thinks of as “cleaning up after nature’s spoils” — and those already being raised to eat. Much of her work involves chickens.

For the Art in the Age exhibit, Beverly created what the gallery is calling a “still life farm,” sourcing all the animals from an actual farm in upstate New York. It’s run by two former Philadelphia residents who left the area after realizing squawking chickens do not make for happy neighbors. “I think it’s kind of frowned upon to be raising chickens in a South Philly rowhome,” Beverly says. “But it seems like a bunch of people do it anyway.”

At the show
Look for the goatskin rug that lights up. It’ll be hard to miss. “A goat from the farm died, and I wanted her to be a rug,” Beverly says. “But it bothered me thinking it was just going to sit there on the floor, so I thought it would be neat if she had a function — so she’s a lamp, too.”

Stay for brunch
Starting tomorrow, Old City is expanding its monthly First Friday festivities into the weekend. Stop-In Saturdays and Brunch & Browse Sundays will include walking tours, workshops, street festivals and something called “progressive dinners.” Details are on Old City District’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/fristfridayoldcity (yes, Frist).

If you go
‘Life on the Farm’
Through March 31
Art in the Age
116 North Third St.
215-922-2600,
www.artintheage.com

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