Many pieces of my early collection of animal
sculptures were displayed at the Franklin Park
Children’s Zoo in Boston and at the Beardsley
Zoo in Connecticut in 2001 and 2002. The
Beardsley, Josiah, who founded this Connecticut
zoo was an old-time relative of Bob’s. He must
have liked animals too.
It seems fitting that a zoo of
sculptures could be seen side by side with a zoo of
the real thing. Both the Franklin Park and Beardsley
Zoos kept some of the pieces for their permanent
I have no idea about the
reaction of the live animals to these cold metal
critters, but the zookeepers told me that the
visitors were delighted. Here is a sampling of
what they saw.
The ostrich, gazing at us out
front, has a bicycle seat for its head with
ping-pong-ball eyes and toothbrushes for eyebrows.
In the mid-ground is a praying mantis.
Praying Mantis with his dinner
Techno-Bird’s CD eyes are wide
open as she listens to tapes on her earphones
(tuna cans). The feathered body boasts many meters
of unraveled audiotapes. Could she be bouncing
with the Beatles? Madonna?
Scavenger Ant is crafted from a
hand-plow frame with bowls added for eyes, doll
carriage struts for antennae, a barbeque grill and
lawn mower for the hind sections. The hand plow
sat on my deck for months before I knew it would
be an ant.
The zookeepers perched this owl on
a rafter in one of their barns. The eyes were
electric lightbulbs, and in the darkness, he would
peer at folks as they walked through.
Can you identify what this elephant is made from?
Diving Alligator uses a vacuum
cleaner for his scuba tank and keys for his teeth.
He is covered from head to claw with wine corks.
That’s a lot of wine.
One of my animals broke her leg on
the way to the zoo and went belly-up. Here is a
close-up of her pretty face. She is a grandmother,
as you can see.