Museum collections have many uses, and not all of these uses for museum specimens are scientific. The zoology collection at Cincinnati Museum Center is often used by local artists to create biologically accurate wildlife art. Field guides are an excellent example of the synergy between art and science in museum collections. Jim Day of Talon Wildlife Creations is one such local artist who regularly uses the collection to create life-like reproductions of birds from domestic bird feathers. Other well known artists such as John Ruthven and the late Charley Harper have used the zoology collection extensively as reference material for their artwork.
The next generation of artists are utilizing the zoology collection as well. Led by instructor Courtney Bennett students from the University of Cincinnati visited the collection in late February (see photo right). The students were sketching everything from mounted Ring-tailed Cats to primate skulls to Harpy Eagle study skins. Courtney recently sent us photos of some of the student work (see photo above left). We hope to host many other local artists, both professional and student, and provide them with many subjects for biological illustration and wildlife art.