Polly Morgan

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Polly Morgan
Born 1980 (age 37–38)
Education George Jamieson, Edinburgh
Known for Taxidermy
Notable work Rabbit on Hat
For Sorrow
Still Life After Death (fox)
Website Polly Morgan Website

Polly Morgan (born 1980) is a London-based British artist who uses taxidermy to create works of art.[1][3][4][5]


Polly Morgan was born in Barbury, Oxfordshire, England in 1980,[6] and grew up in Cotswalds on her family farm, and mentions a lack of squeamishness about death as well as being comfortable with the practice of dealing with the corpses of animals.[7] She moved to East London in 1998 and continues to live there today.[6] As a result of a ruptured appendix when she was 31, she became infertile and has spoken out to try to end the public stigma against talking about out in-vitro fertilization.[8] Morgan is a traditional libertarian.[7]


Morgan did not plan an art career; she considered becoming an actress after leaving school, but went to university instead.[2] Morgan graduated from Queen Mary, University of London, in English Literature in 2002.[5] During her studies, she worked in Shoreditch Electricity Showrooms, a bar popular with artists; after graduation, she continued to work there as manager.[3] At 23 Morgan was living above the bar and working out of her apartment, "tinkering with taxidermy."[7] Inspired to create work of her own she took a course with the professional taxidermist George Jamieson, of Cramond, in Edinburgh, during which her intuitive and personal response to the medium were obvious.[5] Morgan's first pieces were commissioned by Bistrotheque, after which she was spotted by Banksy: A lovebird looking in a mirror; a squirrel holding a belljar with a little fly perched inside on top of a sugar cube; a magpie with a jewel in its beak; and a couple of chicks standing on a miniature coffin'.[2][3] In 2005, he invited her to show her work for Santa's Ghetto, an annual exhibition he organised near London's Oxford Street.[5] Her next piece, a white rat curled up in a shallow champagne glass, was exhibited at Wolfe Lenkiewicz's Zoo Art Fair in 2005. That piece – 'Rest a Little on the Lap of Life'[citation needed] – was purchased before the show opened by Vanessa Branson.[3] Morgan works from a Bethnal Green studio.[1]

Morgan is a member of the UK Guild of Taxidermists.[5] The animals used in her taxidermy are contributed by a network of clients she has acquired over the years; the animals Morgan uses have died naturally or had unpreventable deaths.[7] Morgan maintains a detailed log of all dead animals in stock.[9]

Morgan believes that those who consider her work disrespectful or cruel to animals are "childish," and that anthropomorphizing the animals she uses is meaningless.[7] Her work emphasizes and displays animals in a way nontraditional to taxidermy, putting the animals in positions which do not generally imply that they are still alive, rather emphasizing the dying fall of the animal.[10]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Collinge, Miranda (18 July 2010). "Polly Morgan's wings of desire". The Observer. Retrieved 23 July 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c Praagh, Anna van (9 July 2010). "The art of taxidermy". Financial Times. Retrieved 3 August 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d Lane, Harriet (5 April 2008). "Polly Morgan: dead clever". The Telegraph. Retrieved 23 July 2010. 
  4. ^ Ryan, Denise (23 October 2009). "An 'authentic encounter' with the animals". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 23 July 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Philby, Charlotte (16 July 2010). "Death becomes her: Meet Polly Morgan, Britart's hottest property". The Independent. Retrieved 23 July 2010. 
  6. ^ a b "Biography – Polly Morgan". pollymorgan.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-03-11. 
  7. ^ a b c d e "Polly Morgan: death becomes her". Evening Standard. Retrieved 2018-03-10. 
  8. ^ "Let's smash the IVF wall of silence". Mail Online. Retrieved 2017-03-11. 
  9. ^ Morgan, Polly. "Introduction to Polly Morgan". Self published. Retrieved 24 July 2010. 
  10. ^ Connor, Steven. "Such Stuff as Dreams are Made on." Modern Painters 21, no. 2 (03, 2009): 58-63. http://stevenconnor.com/stuff/stuff.pdf.
  11. ^ "Exhibitions – Polly Morgan". pollymorgan.co.uk. Retrieved 2018-03-10. 

External links[edit]