Photo Archives - Carl Akeley Collection

A composite of three photographs related to taxidermist Carl Akeley: Akeley standing near a leopard he killed, one scene from the "Four Seasons of the Deer" diorama, and a view of African elephants.


Carl Akeley worked at The Field Museum from 1896 to 1909, collecting and mounting animals for the Museum's exhibitions.  While working at The Field Museum he pioneered a number of advancements in the field of taxidermy.  Among them was a method of sculpting the underlying mannequin that gives all of his work its perfectly lifelike appearance.  Akeley was also ground breaking in posing animals in accurate recreations of their natural habitats.  Akeley's brilliant work can still be seen today in a number of The Field Museum's exhibitions.

None are more famous than the "Fighting African Elephants" on display in the Museum's Stanley Field Hall. Akeley made two trips to Africa in 1895 and 1906. Akeley was also a photographer and produced thousands of photographs on the expeditions which he used as guides for mounting the mammals he collected.  Akeley's photographs show the capture of the "Fighting African Elephants", first displayed at the Field Columbian Museum in 1908.