The Taxidermy Hall of Fame is proud to introduce the inductees for the class of 2021. These inductees were announced during the Saturday night Awards Banquet in Killeen, Texas on June 26, 2021 during the Texas Taxidermy Association convention. The induction ceremony was held in July during the National Taxidermists Association convention in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
In the Spring of 2020 the THOF decided to separate inductees into two categories. Historical, whose major contributions were 50 years before his or her nomination date and Contemporary whose contributions were more recent. Inductions years are on odd numbered years. For 2021 there were two elected contemporary nominees, Terrance Coffin Grey of South Africa and Harry Paulson of Gilbert, Arizona. The two elected historical nominees were Herman H. ter Meer of Germany and Sinclair Clark of New York.
Contemporary Hall of Fame Inductees
Date of Birth: July 19, 1926
Place of Birth: Republic of South Africa
Current Location: Humansdorp, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Terence Coffin-Grey was born July 19, 1926, to South African pioneering stock in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. He keeps a hand written diary from 1940 to this day. Given his advanced age of 92 he is currently in good health. His heart’s ambition was to join a museum and travel Africa as a taxidermist/explorer like Carl E. Akeley. In 1961 at the new Natural History Museum in Bulawayo, he created many large exhibits, the most spectacular of which was a giant walk-in habitat group which displays the Doddiburn elephant and full mounts of giraffe, eland, zebra, warthog, buffalo, waterbuck and a pride of lions on a zebra kill. In 1965, Terence went for additional training at the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, under the tutelage of Otto Epping.
Terence Coffin-Grey’s many talents and experiences which he has unselfishly shared throughout his life has certainly earned him the title of “Master Taxidermist.” Visit Terence Coffin-Grey’s biography page to learn more and to see a video of his 2021 acceptance speech.
Date of Birth: September 14, 1940
Place of Birth: St. Paul, Minnesota
Current Location: Gilbert, Arizona
Harry Paulson started one of the first successful taxidermy schools in 1977 with Mountain Valley School of Taxidermy in Arizona. He became extremely active in assisting with the first national taxidermy competitions in over 80 years. In the early 1970’s, Harry attended the formation meeting of the National Taxidermy Association in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, where he became a charter member. He was elected to the NTA board of directors the next year and served off and on for a total of 13 years. In 1981, as an NTA Director, he gathered a number of state taxidermists, and implemented the formation of the Arizona NTA Chapter. When the World Taxidermy Championships was formed in 1983 Harry worked as one of the administrators at that first show and worked in various capacities at future shows.
Taxidermy has been a very large part of Harry Paulson’s life and for certain his biggest accomplishments for his peers was his many years of assisting, educating and helping others reach their goals. Visit Harry Paulson’s biography page to learn more and to see a video of his 2021 acceptance speech.
Historical Hall of Fame Inductees
Date of Birth: January 31, 1902
Place of Birth: Barbados, West Indies
Date of Death: May 14, 1999
Place of Death: Bronx, New York
Sinclair Nathaniel Clark was a legendary taxidermy tanner, known throughout that industry for his expertise in tanning animal skins to give them the suppleness that taxidermists require to create lifelike, long-lasting displays. Because tanning is a behind-the-scenes operation of taxidermy, tanners are seldom known outside the industry. Clark’s work is on view in museums all over the world; his most famous work is “Henry,” the African Bush elephant which has been displayed in the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. since 1959. He also tanned the skin of the famous racehorse Phar Lap, which has been on permanent display in the Museums Victoria in Melbourne, Australia since January 1933.
Throughout his career, Sinclair Clark mentored other taxidermists and helped them set up their studios. Visit Sinclair Clark’s biography page to learn more and to see a video tribute from his longtime friend, John Janelli of New Jersey.
Nominee: Herman H. ter Meer
Date of birth: December 16, 1871
Date of death: March 9, 1934
Place of birth: Leiden, Netherlands
Burial place: Südfriedhof Cemetery, Cologne, Germany
Herman H. ter Meer, Dutch taxidermist, was born December 16, 1871 in Leiden, Netherlands. He died March 9, 1934 in Leipzig, Germany and is buried in the Sudfriedhof cemetery. He is often referred to as the “European Akeley” by European taxidermists because, even though Carl E. Akeley was some years older, Herman developed his own technique for making manikins and was a pioneer of modern dermoplasty. In 1931 he founded the special association called DEUKEMUS, with sculpting, artist taxidermists as members.
The Association of German Taxidermists (VDP) continues today as a result of Herman H. ter Meer’s professional organization of museum dermoplastikers. Visit Herman H. ter Meer’s biography page to learn more and see examples of his stunning work.