1st Edition

Exhibiting Animals in Europe and America

Edited By M. Elizabeth Boone, Lianne McTavish Copyright 2025
    256 Pages 18 Color & 52 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This edited volume, written by historians of art and visual culture who are working with the field of animal studies, seeks to understand how our ways of positioning (and ex-positioning) animals have separated us from the other-than-human animals that are an integral part of our interconnected world.

    Bringing together the visual and material culture of display with recent theoretical study on human-animal relations, the book draws attention to ways in which we might rethink this history and map pathways for the future. Defining the idea of exhibition and display broadly, chapters consider a diverse range of media, including paintings, anatomical sculpture, books, prints, and clothing; exhibition venues that take place in both the public and private realms; and key ideas such as looking at/looking back, seeing/being seen, and interspecies recognition. The authors cover topics that span the sixteenth through the early twentieth centuries and focus geographically on Europe and America, with significant content related to Canada, Indigenous America, and Latin America.

    The book will be of interest to scholars working in art history, visual studies, museum studies, animal studies, and environmental humanities.


    M. Elizabeth Boone and Lianne McTavish


    Part 1. In Books, Prints, and Photographs


    1. Anxious Shores: Early Modern Illustrations of Marine Animals from the Magellan Strait and the Chilean Coast

    Catherine Burdick


    2. Capturing Animal Life in Brehms Thierleben

    Stephanie Triplett


    3. Turning the World Inside Out: Exhibiting Animals in Nineteenth-Century Spanish Broadsheets

    M. Elizabeth Boone


    4. Talking Like the Birds: Animal Speech and Embodied Imitation in Early Colonial Mexico

    Allison Caplan


    5. Posing Pony: Considering Horses, Children, and Display in Rural Lakota Photographs

    Claire Thomson


    Part 2. In Palaces, Churches, and Ceremonial Spaces


    6. Visceral Castor: Animal Presence in Indigenous Beaver-Pelt Coats and French Tricorn Hats

    Catherine Girard


    7. A World Beyond the Mines: Birds in the Flower Paintings of San Martín de Tours in Potosí, Bolivia

    Maya Stanfield-Mazzi


    8. The War Stories of Sspitaikoan

    Annabel Crop Eared Wolf, Marjie Crop Eared Wolf, and Heather Caverhill


    9. Coexisting Species and Imperial Networks: Displaying African and Asian Animals in the New Kingdom of Granada

    Patricia Zalamea


    10 Winged Beasts for Charles III

    Tara Zanardi


    Part 3. In Studios, Theatres, and Museums


    11. The Corpse at the Door: Edwin Landseer and Albert the Lion

    Katie Hornstein


    12. Bloodhounds, Race, and Spectacle: From Nineteenth-Century Melodrama to Breed Specific Legislation

    Jessica Dallow


    13. Riding into the Afterlife: A Close Reading of Honoré Fragonard’s Écorché of a Horse and his Rider (1766–1771)

    Valérie Bienvenue


    14. Fragile Fragments: Reflections on Victorian Beetle Art in a Time of Climate Crisis

    Keri Cronin


    Part 4. In Parks, Fairs, and Zoos


    15. “Predecessors of the Living:” Displaying Extinct Animals at the Crystal Palace in Sydenham”

    K. Anger


    16. Twice-stilled Animals: Control and Vulnerability in Images of Taxidermy in the United States

    Elizabeth Hutchinson


    17. “From ocean’s depths and inland streams:” Fish on Display at the 1893 Columbian Exposition

    Naomi Slipp


    18. How a Polar Bear Lived in Canada’s First National Park

    Lianne McTavish



    M. Elizabeth Boone is professor in the history of art, design, and visual culture at the University of Alberta.

    Lianne McTavish is professor in the history of art, design, and visual culture at the University of Alberta.

    “This geographically diverse volume makes a ground-breaking contribution to the rise of animal studies in the early modern and modern histories of art and visual culture. Without a doubt, it will also add to a growing body of work enriching histories of visual and material culture within the environmental humanities.”

    Emily Gephart, School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University and Maura Coughlin, Northeastern University

    “This innovative and important collection takes a collaborative approach to the study of visual culture and animal life in the Americas and Europe. In a challenge to conventional approaches, the authors place human and other-than-human perspectives and experiences on an equal footing, moving back and forth between uses and depictions of animals on the part of human societies and the lives of the many different creatures they encountered.”

    Sarah R. Cohen, University at Albany, SUNY