Barnett’s museum was the quintessential cabinet of curiosities, displaying thousands of specimens, both foreign and domestic, by the mid-nineteenth century. As a trained taxidermist, he was known to mount the creatures that local people brought him, including their beloved pets and animal oddities they encountered. Like the great Falls themselves, the museum was a place where people could marvel and learn about the world around them.
Excerpted from Fall/Winter 2015 Ornamentum. Click here to subscribe.
Suzanne Moase is Curator, Niagara Falls Museums.
Victorian insect art
Walnut corner block frame
56cm x 76cm
accession # 2015.030.64
photograph: Niagara Falls History Museum