Thursday, August 28, 2008

Dr. Seuss for President

I've been reading a little about the late Dr. Seuss, aka Theodor Seuss Geisel, and wow... he's definitely an original. Seuss claimed that he used nonsense to "awaken the brain cells". His work is fantastic, imaginary and a little on the odd side, which is perfect in my book.

In the early 1930's, he began making his own taxidermy collection. I've attached some images and info about this particular project:
Seuss embarked on an ingenious project as he evolved from two-dimensional artworks to three-dimensional sculptures. What was most unusual for these mixed-media sculptures was the use of real animal parts including beaks, antlers and horns from deceased Forest Park Zoo animals where Seuss’s father was superintendent. Unorthodox Collection of Taxidermy was born in a cramped New York apartment and included a menagerie of inventive creatures with names like the “Two Horned Drouberhannis,” “Andulovian Grackler,” and “Semi-Normal Green-Lidded Fawn.” Shortly after Seuss created this unique collection of artworks, Look Magazine dubbed Seuss “The World’s Most Eminent Authority on Unheard-Of Animals.” To this day, Seuss’s Unorthodox Collection of Taxidermy remains as some of the finest examples of his inventive and multi-dimensional creativity.

After looking up his taxidermy collection online I discovered that his work had many social and political themes that the average children's book reader would be oblivious to. For instance, the website states that The Lorax was written as an argument for corporate responsibility and resource conservation. Yertle the Turtle was an argument against discrimination. Horton Hears a Who was a parable on democracy. The Butter Battle Book was a visionary tale on nuclear proliferation and even The Cat in the Hat was written as a statement against illiteracy and conformity. Interesting. I think I'll look into reading a Seuss biography.

And on a side note, how cute is this Turtle-Necked Sea-Turtle sculpture?

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