TRAER SCOTT: Natural History Reflections

Hyenas, American Museum of Natural History , NY
Copyright (c) Traer Scott
/All Rights Reserved

Leopards, American Museum of Natural History , NY
Copyright (c) Traer Scott
/All Rights Reserved

Ostrich 2, American Museum of Natural History , NY
Copyright (c) Traer Scott /All Rights Reserved

Hunting Dogs 2, American Museum of Natural History , NY
Copyright (c) Traer Scott /All Rights Reserved

When I was nine, my mother would take me to the Natural History Museum in Raleigh (where she was a volunteer curator) all day, everyday in the summers. I spent very long, lonely weeks communing with the museum's animals, both living and dead, as well as operating the manual elevator for employees and rummaging through the collection of ancient periodicals and books housed in a private library. I have since harbored an immense affection for all things old and musty and mysterious, particularly preserved animals whose half dead/half alive presence is both fascinating and unnerving.

Natural History is a series of abstract in-camera constructions of visitors viewing the legendary dioramas at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The taxidermied animals in these dioramas were collected (and killed) by "naturalists" primarily at the beginning of the 20th century. Many of these long dead specimens now represent endangered or extinct species. I feel that the unintentional juxtaposition and interaction between the viewers and the animals creates highly allegorical narratives of our troubled co-existence with nature.

Scott won a 2010 Rhode Island State Council for the Arts Photography Grant on the merit of this Natural History series. More American Museum of Natural History Reflections: Gallery

Traer Scott Website


Richard Benari-Treitman said...

These are really quite wonderful. Thank you.

The Artist Within Us said...

The images shown here are haunting, especially the last one of the woman with a priceless expression.

I am surprised the photographer Traer Scott managed to take these photographs, especially since most places do not allow photography.

That is also what makes this collection 'priceless', considering that today it is most difficult to take any public pictures and I know this first hand.

Thank you for sharing and have a wonderful weekend.

Caio Fern said...

this series treat every single element of the picture with so much caress ...

Tammie Lee said...

my goodness, these are fantastic!

Kcalpesh said...

Terrific, these photos look like just out of some specialFX movie! Superb!

- Pixellicious Photos

Unknown said...

Something very moving about these. I know I'll be "seeing" them in me for the rest of the day.

Bea said...

I love these. :)Bea

La Framéricaine said...

Superb. Thank you for bringing them to my attention.

Tao Dao Man said...

every time i come here i say to myself " well that is it, it don't get no better than this." then i come back to take another peek, and you out do your self again. thank you so much for giving me a few moments of serenity when i come here.

Karen and Sara Brown said...

you are my idol :) these are amazing, as always.

love the story behind your interest in them.

thanks EA!

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

These photos really do illustrate our uneasy alliance with nature/animals. Beautiful stuff here.

P.Gaye Tapp at Little Augury said...

What a great back story, the photographs are spiritual and primal simultaneously- Art at its best. GT

DJ said...


Unknown said...

Truly amazing collection, the reflections are incredible.

DHD Design Studio said...

Thank you for sharing these elegant, and hauntingly evocative photo's

Terry said...

Who knew that those long days in
the summer would create such
moving masterpieces?
Yes, I am the mother of this talented
artist, and if I were not, I still
would love her work.
She always had a talent that was
I am thrilled that she can share it
with the world.
Terry Scott

Michael Kirchoff said...

I had the honor of meeting Traer and seeing this work in person while sharing some wall space at a photo festival in Shanghai in 2012. Traer herself is a lovely person, and the work matches her perfectly. So glad to see these images get more exposure! Congrats!