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Two-Day Cryptozoology Exhibit

Posted by: Loren Coleman on June 27th, 2006

Do you get the feeling that the art world has suddenly discovered cryptozoology, globally, all in the same moment in time?

Some cryptozoology art exhibitions, such as "Cryptozoology: Out of Time Place Scale" at Bates College, last as long as the summer and beyond. Others, it appears, disappear almost as quickly as a sighting of Nessie.

Take, for example, the two-day display at the Cumbria Institute of Arts (located in the city of Carlisle, in the extreme northwest of England, some 16 km from the border with Scotland). That exhibition, "A Study in Time," by Jennifer Holliday, will occur on June 27th and 28th, 2006, only.

Study In Time

Arts reporter Kate Rees of the News and Star overviews what’s to be seen and how it got there:

Fascinating artefacts – dinosaur bones, animal skulls, photos, drawings and correspondence – collected by a Carlisle-born natural historian and cryptozoologist can be seen in the exhibition, “A Study in Time”, at Cumbria Institute of the Arts today and tomorrow.

Samuel Stewart Holliday was born in 1928 but moved to Edinburgh, when he was three-months-old, and then to Inchnahaar, near Inverness. After a career in the King’s Own Highland Dragoons, Samuel was able to devote his retirement to his life-long interest in cryptozoology – the study of legendary creatures – particularly the Loch Ness Monster.

He amassed a varied collection of fossils, including an impressive flipper and tail bones of a plesiosaur – the animal considered the most likely candidate to be the Loch Ness Monster. The collection comes to Carlisle through fine art degree student Jennifer Holliday for her third year summer exhibition.

Jennifer is a very distant relation of Samuel – though she says she was not aware of him when he was alive. She is a firm believer in the Loch Ness monster and has an interest in natural history herself. She found out about Samuel’s collection through word of mouth, or “a happy coincidence” as she calls it.

This show is jointly curated with Morag Robertson of the Horsecraig House Museum, at Loch Ness.

For the show she has recreated Samuel’s study at Cumbria Institute of the Arts Caldewgate Campus.

It’s not most people’s idea of a fine art exhibition, which are usually associated with paintings or sculpture. Jennifer calls her installation “contemporary fine art” – art that deals with concepts.

“As a contemporary fine artist I like to think of myself as a facilitator of thought. This exhibition takes you into another time, place and culture. Cultural influences control the way we think, how we understand the world. It fits into my arts practise beautifully and encourages people to thing about al those things.”

Jennifer has says she has had a very positive response to the exhibition.

“There are so many different facets to his life, it reminds people of their childhoods I think. One woman said she felt surprisingly moved, that she felt it was like someone’s personal diary, I thought that was lovely.”

It’s such a fascinating story that people have wanted to pick up and read the letters on display – which they cannot because they are museum pieces.

Jennifer adds: “I think this room has a hallowed feel to it, but it’s really welcoming too.”

Jennifer takes up a post as assistant curator at Horsegraig House when she graduates.

Horsegraig curator Morag Robertson is looking into the possibility of taking the exhibition to New York and Los Angeles, as writing a book on Samuel and his collection, which will be on display at Horsecraig later this year.

See all of Cumbria Institute of the Arts summer shows today and tomorrow, from 10am-4pm.

Source: News and Star, June 27, 2006

Perhaps artist Jennifer Holliday would consider loaning some of Samuel Holliday’s items to the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine, for a more permanent display? We are always looking for new items to add to the collection, as gifts or loans.

Contact info: Loren Coleman, ICM, PO Box 360, Portland, ME 04112.

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.


6 Responses to “Two-Day Cryptozoology Exhibit”

  1. LordofShades responds:

    Is it as obvious to others as it is to me? Cryptozoology is a viable and valid science that has earned it’s right to be included with other, more readily accepted and acknowledged sciences such as Natural History. I’m sure Loren’s museum is a thing of wonder, but with I feel that Cryptozoology warrants a large, permanent museum that would receive federal funding and accreditation. We all love the subject, but so few of us do anything to support it besides visiting this website. Isn’t there some avenue of appeal that we can use to get such a venture off the ground? Anyone? Gimme a hand here, I’ve already written to my congressman, no response as of yet. Maybe someone knows which federal agency I should write to? Post it on the site, we owe it to the world to share our sense of awe and wonder at this exciting field of study. Sorry for ranting, lol.

  2. Loren Coleman responds:

    Yes, of course, with funding, opportunity, and cheap space, I would be happy to move my 46-year-collection into a more permanent, larger, more formalized location. In many ways, that was the idea behind the Bates exhibition, to evolve this concept of my cryptozoology musuem from my modest cabinet of curiosities into a more official supported setting.

    But, of course, funding and sponsorship are the keys, beyond the Bates exhibition.

    BTW, the government will not be the source of how this happens, if past history is a guide. It will be from the private sector.

  3. oldbutnotstupid responds:

    Cryptozoology is coming of age through the efforts of a few people of vision. It is the way of the world and the way in which each and every branch of science began.

    I will make a prediction here that the next great discovery is about ready to add a feather to the cap of Cryptozoologists everywhere. That I hope will be the discovery in the deep ocean of a surviving trilobite relative. I will not go into why I believe it is there at the moment. But I believe it is. Call it a hunch if you like.

    It shall be wait and see.

  4. twblack responds:

    The old saying you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. Well guess what cryptozoologists are teaching this old world that it has not seen and discovered everything yet!

  5. shadowparks responds:

    i wish there was an exibition of this sort close to Delaware. Anyone out there in cryptoland know of any? Any information would be appreciated

  6. jim_brikiatis responds:

    I’d like to be there. No luck though…



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