Daily Dose Pick: Richard Barnes


Photographer Richard Barnes reveals the artifice and strange beauty of animals in a natural-history museum.

Barnes has spent over a decade cataloging the way we amass, conserve, and display elements of the natural world. His new monograph, Animal Logic, matches his images of the objects behind an exhibition — “partially wrapped specimens, anatomical models, exploded skulls, and taxidermied animals in shipping crates” — with counterparts from the real world inhabited by living wildlife.

Referencing science, history, archaeology, and anthropology, Barnes’ work offers a reminder that there is nothing inherently “natural” about going to a museum to see animals. In his photos, a plastic-wrapped giraffe is suspended in midair against the trompe l’oeil backdrop of a savannah, a pack of stuffed wolves lunges at a museum preparer inspecting blades of grass, and other creatures (leopards, emus, and bears) hang out in packing crates.

Explore the artist’s official website, read his interview with Rosencrans Baldwin, visit the Animal Logic exhibition at Michigan’s Cranbrook Art Musuem, and buy

a copy of the new monograph.