A giant stuffed Walrus at The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery & Museum has been named Marmalade after a public vote to name the large flippered marine mammal. It is thought the name has proved popular with visitors due to the long association Dundee has with marmalade and also that it is a feature of their current ‘Dundee Preserves’ exhibition.
Marmalade took 35% of the vote, with Whonda second with 20%. Other names on the shortlist were Gertrude, Pricilla, Florence, Daisy and Evangeline. The museum has been collecting suggestions since the exhibition opened in June and curators selected a shortlist of seven earlier this month which was then put to a public vote to choose the final name and revealed as part of an online advent calendar.
Atlantic Walruses are large marine mammals. They can grow up to three metres long and with a layer of fatty blubber to keep them warm in the cold Arctic. This walrus was donated by the Captain of the Dundee whaler, the SS Arctic. It was previously on display with other polar wildlife in the city’s former Dudhope Museum.
The exhibition itself actually has nothing to do with marmalade or other jam-like preserves but rather the show provides a glimpse into how curators and conservators care for, research, store, document and conserve the City’s collections, revealing the day to day activity that often takes place behind closed doors.
This specimen had its flippers remodelled and skin holes patched by a taxidermy conservator. Some of the stitched scars were created by the original taxidermist and left as evidence of the historic work of mounting the animal. The tusks were missing and the face was torn around the lips, eyes and nostrils. These areas were weak spots and needed to be repaired and remodelled. The damaged parts were covered and painted, whiskers reinstated and replica tusks installed.
Gareth Jackson-Hunt, Museum Services Section Leader said
“Naming Marmalade has been great fun. She has been a very popular part of our Dundee Preserves exhibition and I would encourage everyone to get along and see her before the show finishes. Dundee is world famous for its association with jams and marmalades so it’s fitting that we have a name to reflect that connection.”
Visitors have until 7 January 2018 to visit Marmalade as part of the Dundee Preserves: Caring for the City’s Collections. It is free to visit and highlights that for 150 years The McManus has collected, preserved, interpreted and displayed the Dundee’s collection for the benefit of its visitors.