Williamsport- The Thomas T. Taber Museum of the Lycoming County Historical Society cordially invites the public to see its summer exhibit, “In the Wilds of Pennsylvania and Beyond.” The exhibit includes taxidermy-mounted specimens and artwork from the permanent collections of the museum, as well as the meticulous renderings of animals by well-known artist John Strawbridge.
The exhibit includes animals familiar to residents of Pennsylvania including a raccoon, a bear cub, a fawn, a turkey, and native birds. The mounted specimens were expertly preserved by Williamsport taxidermist Charles Eldon (1852-1930). Eldon opened his shop in 1878 in Williamsport and continued his practice well into the Twentieth Century. The artwork from the permanent collection includes a mixture of prints and paintings.
Premiere among the offerings of the exhibit are the meticulous pencil renderings by John Strawbridge depicting exotic animals including the majestic American bison, an alligator, an African crowned crane, Brazilian jaguars, a herring gull, and more familiar animals like chickens, cats and dogs. The exhibit of Strawbridge’s work was made possible by Susan Strawbridge, Jerry and Janice Regan, Cindy and Craig Dunn and Clyde and Dianne Peeling. Previous to their exhibit at the Taber the artistic renderings were on display at the Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art, Millersburg.
John Strawbridge (1946-2021) had a lifelong interest in the natural world. Born in Williamsport, he graduated from the Williamsport High School and attended Penn State, subsequently graduating with a degree in architectural drafting from what is now known as the Pennsylvania College of Technology. In addition to his drawings and paintings, he designed and created exhibits and interpretive signage for zoos, wildlife parks, historical sites and museums throughout East Africa, Central America, Florida and Pennsylvania. Early on, Strawbridge was associated with the Lycoming County Historical Society and later became Director of the Hershey Museum in the early 1970s. With Clyde Peeling, he designed and built ZooAmerica Wildlife Park in Hershey in the mid-1970s.
The exhibit will continue through August 31, 2023.