Monday, September 29, 2008

Kutna Hora Ossuary

I'm not certain who put me in touch with George Higham, but it has been many years since then and I now own 5 of his sculptures, including the box depicted below. The photo above shows George in his studio where he has produced a stop-motion film based on Edgar Allan Poe and a tarot deck (see his website for all the gory details). Speaking of which, during the day George x-rays the dead at the morgue. My first question to him was whether his skeletal sculptures were done from still lifes and he said he had seen enough bones and bodies to conjure them easily out of his head. I told him I was researching Skulls and Skeletons and asked if he was aware of the ossuary in Sedlec, Czech Republic, commonly referred to as Kutna Hora. Not only had he heard of it, he was heading there on vacation the following month! He photographed the church and its profusion of skeletal ornaments and kindly let me reproduce them in my book. After I dressed as Poe for Halloween (see slideshow below), I decided that the actual crow I had prepared by a local taxidermist was going to George for Christmas (it loomed in the museum and was not to be a part of the permanent collection). I hauled the bird and a tiny crystal tree ornament to a well-known pack-and-ship store. The crow (it is illegal to kill an actual raven) was destined for George's studio in New York and the ornament was intended for Aunt Judy in Florida. Guess who got the bird?

No comments:

Post a Comment

You may add your comments here.