Fur is an incredibly divisive top; some love to champion animal rights and douse plush pelts in red paint, while others are drawn to the material for its warmth and luxurious connotations. The National Museum in Copenhagen's daring new exhibit “Fur: An Issue of Life and Death” is an unexpected crowd pleaser for both sides of the issue, reports Women's Wear Daily, albeit a somewhat unpleasant one.
The exhibit utilizes a combination of honest-to-goodness fur coats, faux fur pieces, celebrity quotes, and archival pieces to generate a dialogue about the material's benefits and detractors. In diplomatic fashion, the exhibit draws attention to the pros and cons of fur, including quotes from the ever-fanatical Karl Lagerfeld, Danish humane group Anima, and anti-fur advocate and model Anne Lindfjeld. Putting modern views on fur aside, the exhibit also boasts an impressive collection of historical artifacts including a snippet of amber bead-embellished fur from 3,200 B.C. which is regrettably balding in its advanced age. Guests may also throw on a decadent fur piece drenched in paint to simulate being on the front lines of the fur battle.
The showcase also addresses how essential fur has been and continues to be for those residing in regions with arctic temperatures, from Inuits to Scandinavians. In addition to keeping the body at a more optimal temperature than faux fur (a fact proven by the exhibit's demo comparing the consistencies of fur and faux fur), fur also rakes in significant revenue for the populace of more isolated and chilly regions. And until another material provides the same buffer against the elements and creates a source of income for those who rely on it, it seems fur's vast history will continue in the coming years.
According to anthropologist Ulla Mannering, the exhibit doesn't come with an agenda. Says Mannering,
It’s not our purpose to tell people if they should be pro or they should be con. We want to show the possibilities and the different voices.
Whether you're pro or anti-fur, if you happen to journey to Copenhagen before the exhibit closes on February 22 it may behoove you to take a peek. The best opinions are strongly informed ones, and learning more about the history of something you adore or refuse to wear just might tip the scales in your favor during your next debate on the subject.
Images: Getty Images