Beginning Friday (Jan.22), the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City will open a new temporary exhibit titled “When Animals Attack: Humorous Hunting Tableaux.”
The exhibit will feature stereographs depicting staged animal attacks from 1880-1910.
The exhibit will be located inside the Osborn Photography Studio Gallery in the 1900s cattle town Prosperity Junction.
The images showcase some of the quirkier stereographs collected by the Museum’s Donald C. & Elizabeth M. Dickinson Research Center.
According to the museum’s news release, because of the humorous and exaggerated subjects of the images, the Archives Center at the Smithsonian Institution places the hunting images under the comical genre.
However, the photographers’ intentions for creating fake hunting scenes still remain unknown. There are no records to prove whether those who produced the scenes intended to convince the audience of an attack, or if it was universally understood the scenes were fake, museum officials said.
One example is “A Fight for Life in the Wilds of Oregon,” depicting a hunter on the ground with his arm being “bitten” by a bear.
Two fellow hunters are poised to fend off the animal, one with a rifle and the other with what looks like a hatchet.
People enjoyed viewing stereographs during the late 19th and early 20th centuries because of their three-dimensional quality, museum officials said.
Stereographs are two slightly different images from the same scene printed side-by-side and mounted on card stock.
When viewed through a stereoscope, the eyes naturally combine the two images to create a three-dimensional re-creation of the scene
An estimated six million stereographs were produced in the United States, thanks to Oliver Wendell Holmes, who helped popularize the medium by inventing a stereoscopic hand viewer.
The exhibit will be on display until July 11.