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Chicago’s Original Black Taxidermist: Carl Cotton


Carl Cotton (1918 – 1971) was the Field Museum’s first African American taxidermist – perhaps Chicago’s first professional one – and his work can still be seen on display today. But for many years, we knew little about the extent of his contributions to the museum and the field of taxidermy as a whole. Today, thanks to hours of research from Museum staff and through collaborations with Carl’s family, we have a better picture of this creative and talented person and a deeper appreciation for his work.

A special exhibition to honor Carl and his work is open until October 5, 2020. Learn more about “A Natural Talent: The Taxidermy of Carl Cotton” https://www.fieldmuseum.org/exhibitions/natural-talent-taxidermy-carl-cotton
Finding Carl Cotton: https://www.fieldmuseum.org/blog/finding-carl-cotton

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Executive Producer, Creator, Host:
Emily Graslie

Producer, Director, Editor:
Sheheryar Ahsan

Production Assistant, Content Developer, Writer:
Raven Forrest

Production Support/Stuntman:
Vinícius Penteado

Reda Brooks
Tori Lee
This episode is filmed on location at the Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois.

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