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Forgetting And Remembering

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Chapter Summary

Visual representations of thylacines over 200 years are a microcosm of evolving ideas about animal species, as well as new methods of image production. The first commercial image of the thylacine appeared on a poster in 1870. This marked the beginning of the use of the species in advertising and on labels that continues into the twenty-first century. In the late twentieth and early twenty-first century dozens of logos and emblems in Tasmania use the figure of the thylacine. According to W. J. T. Mitchell in his essay "What Do Pictures Want?" images such as commercial and emblematic images make the kind of demands traditionally associated with idolatry, fetishism and totemism. The seal and medal for the Royal Society of Tasmania designed in 1927 by Colbron Pearse embodies the failure of Tasmanian scientific institutions to mount a timely response to the plight of the species.

Keywords: emblematic images; image production; Tasmanian scientific institution; Thylacine totems



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