"All must die sometime; I only shorten the period of consciousness that I may give their forms a perpetual memory; and I leave it to you, which is the more cruel? To kill to eat, or to kill to immortalize?"
- On the Plains and Among the Peaks, p. 119

Of the thousands of specimens Martha Maxwell collected during her career, to fill her museums and special exhibitions, only a few remain. These specimens went immediately into museum collections or the private collections of naturalists, later donated to their institutional home. All are study skins, except the Dusky Grouse chick, the only remaining example of Maxwell's taxidermy skills. This is all that is left of the many animals Maxwell preserved.

This selection of images comes from birds in the Smithsonian's collection. Check back in the future for birds and mammals from Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology.

http://lexthompson.com/files/gimgs/30_dendragapus-obscurus---dusky-grouse-copy.jpg
Dendragapus obscurus - Smithsonian Museum of Natural History (2017)
http://lexthompson.com/files/gimgs/30_otus-asio-maxwelliae-types-copy.jpg
Otus asio maxwelliae - Type Specimens, Smithsonian Museum of Natural History (2017)
http://lexthompson.com/files/gimgs/30_otus-asio-maxwelliae-juv-copy.jpg
Otus asio maxwelliae - Smithsonian Museum of Natural History (2017)
http://lexthompson.com/files/gimgs/30_melanerpes-lewis-copy.jpg
Melanerpes lewis eggs - Smithsonian Museum of Natural History (2017)
http://lexthompson.com/files/gimgs/30_leucosticte-arctoa-littoralis-copy.jpg
Leucosticte arctoa littoralis - Smithsonian Museum of Natural History (2017)
http://lexthompson.com/files/gimgs/30_sphyrapicus-thyroideus-nataliae-copy.jpg
Sphyrapicus thyroideus nataliae - Smithsonian Museum of Natural History (2017)
http://lexthompson.com/files/gimgs/30_junco-caniceps-copy.jpg
Junco caniceps - Smithsonian Museum of Natural History (2017)
http://lexthompson.com/files/gimgs/30_leucosticte-arcotoa-tephrocotis.jpg
Leucosticte arcotoa tephrocotis - Smithsonian Museum of Natural History (2017)
http://lexthompson.com/files/gimgs/30_leucosticte-arctoa-australis-copy.jpg
Leucosticte arctoa australis - Smithsonian Museum of Natural History (2017)
http://lexthompson.com/files/gimgs/30_corvus-cryptoleucus-copy.jpg
Corvus cryptoleucus - Smithsonian Museum of Natural History (2017)
http://lexthompson.com/files/gimgs/30_loxia-curvirostra-benti-copy.jpg
Loxia curvirostra benti - Smithsonian Museum of Natural History (2017)
http://lexthompson.com/files/gimgs/30_lagopus-lecurus-copy.jpg
Lagopus lecurus - Smithsonian Museum of Natural History (2017)
http://lexthompson.com/files/gimgs/30_anthus-rubescens-alticola-copy.jpg
Anthus rubescens alticola - Smithsonian Museum of Natural History (2017)
http://lexthompson.com/files/gimgs/30_coe-07.jpg
Installation View, Coe College, Cedar Rapids, IA (2018).