The question "Is this real?" is heard regularly at the Haus der Natur. Guests who stand amazed in front of a taxidermy and wonder what is "real" about it. The temporary exhibition provides detailed insights into the craft and art of taxidermy - from the beginnings of simple preservation and "stuffing" to the masterful design of lifelike, naturalistic exhibits and models.
Today, of course, there is no longer any talk of "stuffing". New materials and techniques have found their way into the taxidermists' workshops.
The exhibition shows a selection of masterpieces of taxidermy, including the head preparation of a Japanese macaque by Peter Morass, two buzzards fighting over their prey, also by Peter Morass, a bearded monkey by Charlotte Klein and a yellow-necked mouse by Christian Blumenstein - all of them award-winning.
When taxidermy reaches its limits, model making comes into play. In the case of very fragile animals like jellyfish or tiny creatures like protozoa, it is the only possibility of an appealing representation. Of course, 3D printing is also being used more and more in museums. In the exhibition, you can follow the steps to the finished object in detail on the model of a grasshopper by Klaus Leitl.
Another part of the exhibition shows the special challenge of setting up skeletons anatomically correctly. At another point, the question is raised as to why one should doubt the authenticity of some specimens. Historical as well as modern original preparations illustrate these stories and give a comprehensive overview of the art of preparation, modern taxidermy.

Duration: 21 September 2022 to September 2023