(JL- See my notes (* ) and links below)
по - русски
Aug 28, 2007 23:40:24(GMT + 4)
Moscow's Darwin Museum marks 100th anniversary August 28, 2007,
The jubilee exhibition features rare stuffed animals, birds and a retrospective collection of photographs telling the museum's history.
The founder of the museum, Aleksandr Kots*, used to say that his passion for Darwin's theory began long before the establishment of the museum.
As a child he used to spend hours in Moscow's parks listening to birds twitter and studying entomology. Later he mastered taxidermy and began to collect stuffed animal of rare species.
Being one of the followers of Darwin's theory of evolution, Aleksandr Kots displayed the collection for the first time in 1907 and established the Darwin Museum in Moscow the same year.
“Kots and his wife were an extraordinary couple. When they decided to get married, their families collected money for them, according to tradition. They used it to buy two wolves of rare breeds, one white and one black. They also gave each other stuffed animals as wedding gifts,” says Yulia Shubina, the exhibition’s curator.
The family also collected all sorts of live animals. In 1923 they bought a monkey**, which lived with them for three years. Alexandr Kots' wife used to carry out experiments on the monkey. Twelve years later, when she had a child of her own, she repeated the experiments performed on the monkey on her own baby.
“She was trying to figure out what kinds of food he preferred and what his interests were. Then she did the same with me. Then she wrote a book called "A Chimpanzee Baby and a Human Baby". Half of it is about me,” said Rudolf Kots, the Darwin Museum founder's son.
During its 100-year history the museum's collection has grown significantly and a long-awaited new building was constructed in 1995.
*Also spelled Kohts – as in his wife, Nadia Kohts.
**Nadia Kohts gain fame for her research and raising a chimpanzee – not a monkey. Maybe something lost in translation here? The photo I added here is of Robert Yerkes (right) visiting Kohts lab where she demonstrated chimps have very similar color vision to humans using an oddity task involving colored yarns. See Nadia and Joni, her chimpanzee in the second link above.