Morgan Mavis and Christopher Bennell

Christopher Bennell & Morgan Mavis horsing around in the CZC

The Contemporary Zoological Conservatory (CZC) is a private collection, home museum and art installation of antique and contemporary taxidermy mounts, specializing in mammal, bird and reptile species.

Morgan Mavis, Director, speculates on the scale of collection in the future: “If the mammal and bird collections keep growing at this rate we will surely need a larger facility in a years time”.

The CZC is not only displaying these fascinating creatures, it is documenting the process of accretion, the obsessive desire to collect more species and the stories that compliment each new work of art. The CZC wants to create an Ark of visual delights and dizzying proportions, a space that makes you question why and how? A place that overwhelms, crowds, confronts fascinates and titillates a person’s sense of wonder.

“We are not a natural history museum you will not find displays of wildlife in their natural habitat. We are documenting the wild collections and stories of Morgan Mavis. You will witness an overwhelming proportion of taxidermied species in her natural environment.”

About Morgan Mavis

Morgan Mavis, Torotno Taxidermy, pink hair, Taxidermy, Bear

Morgan Mavis with The Detroit Natural History Collection

Morgan Mavis is a collector, a curator and a visual artist. Mavis has a Masters of Museum Studies from the University of Toronto. As well, she holds a BFA with honours in Sculpture Installation from the Ontario College of Art and Design. Her thesis Can You Love Me? explored the nuances of approval and notoriety. In 2006 Mavis and her partner Christopher Bennell set out on a hitchhiking installation documenting stories and memories across Canada to the far North.

Currently, Mavis is the Director and Curator of The Contemporary Zoological Conservatory (CZC), a private collection, home museum and art installation. Mavis explores the preservation of discarded memories (trophies) and the context of taxidermy in Canada’s heritage and contemporary culture. The scope of  her museological curiosity varies from the Wunderkammern of the early renaissance to the conservation and preservation of currently held natural history collections.

“It is the aesthetics of nature and the artistic interpretation of the natural that fascinates me. I am compelled by the social history of collecting and the human tendency to obtain, document, catalogue and preserve the natural world.  Museum collections are a visual spectacle of knowledge.  The natural history curator has the power to make palpable the wonder of science and nature.”