Chickens Dressed Like Napoleon, Einstein and Other Historical Figures- page 3 | Arts & Culture | Smithsonian
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(Timothy Archibald)

Chickens Dressed Like Napoleon, Einstein and Other Historical Figures

They came, they clucked and they conquered. Get the story behind these absurd portraits and how they came to be

Abe Lincoln

Abe Lincoln
(Timothy Archibald)
“I thought it was something that we could really run with,” says Amos. Of the dozen historical figures Roberts named as possible subjects, the photographer-stylist duo chose eight. 

The first order of business was the wardrobe. “You can’t retrofit a Halloween costume,” says Archibald. “These things needed to look believable.” For each character, Amos put together a mood board, or collage, of images. She then designed costumes, which seamstresses sewed to fit three-pound birds.

Scouring costume shops and local theaters, Amos gathered accessories: a bicorn for Napoleon, a crown for Queen Elizabeth II and a headdress for King Tut. The stylist insisted that Lincoln’s top hat be vintage. “It needed to have the wear and the texture and the wrinkles,” she says.

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