Torrington Gopher Hole Museum

Torrington gopher touches down at MOV (We’ll explain)

We’re in the final stages of acquiring objects for Ravishing Beasts, our featured exhibit on taxidermy and, more broadly, on MOV’s history of collecting. The exhibit opens October 22; more details are linked here.

The subject matter makes for interesting shipments, each one more unusual, random, quirky, and politically charged than the next. Recently arrived is a gopher diaorama from the wilds of Torrington, Alberta (pop. 200+). The town isn’t as well known as its RV-sized “Torrington Gopher Hole Museum,” which presents 71 stuffed gophers arranged in anthropomorphic scenes (one example is pictured). Imagine: Gopher as cowboy; gopher as farmer; gopher as bank robber. The one featured in Ravishing Beasts is dressed as a tourist—complete with toque, luggage, and a map of Canada—and was created from Torrington’s cache of frozen gophers.

So, why a gopher museum? Like so many other anonymous Canadian towns, Torrington saw an opportunity for tourism. One can only imagine the brainstorming:  ”What’s our hook?” “We’ve got an overactive gopher population, lets do something on that.” “What if the town actually were overrun with gophers? What might it look like?” Check out this visitor’s image slideshow for highlights—and visit us in October for the rest of the story.

Image credit: KenniesBurg

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