I was just writing about him in the comments at Taki’s…
Tragedy has struck History Television Canada and Cream Production’s forthcoming series Head Hunters, with ethnographic antiquities dealer Bill Jamieson (pictured), the show’s star, having died unexpectedly.
The show was set to premiere early next year, with the network having commissioned Cream to produce 14 half-hour episodes following Toronto-based Jamieson. (…)
Jamieson died on July 3, his 57th birthday, at his home in Toronto. He is survived by his fiancée and his son. A memorial is planned for 6:30 p.m. EST, July 26 at the Royal Ontario Museum.
His condo – an entire floor of an old factory/warehouse in a gorgeous neighborhood in Toronto – you got to by elevator, which opened into what felt like a gallery in the wildest Smithsonian oddities hall you could imagine. Tribal head trophies, feathered capes, shrunken heads, South Pacific weaponry, all of it making for a Ripley’s-like experience if ever one could be had outside those establishments. The entire vast condo space was arrayed as the museum show it truly was, as Bill had some few years prior purchased the entire Niagara Falls Museum (the last museum extant which had been in direct competition with Barnum’s American Museum).
And true to Bill’s vision, his vast condo had been transformed into the museum of his and every collector’s dream: every square inch cased or arrayed with attractions, the entry hall given over entirely to floor-to-ceiling amazement. And then you reached the far end, where his condo dropped and dropped, into the recesses of the building. As he put it, in his end of the condo deal, he’d gotten the old freight elevator shaft, easily large enough to hold a truck, now outfitted with an equally vast wooden spiral staircase. And that staircase took you not just into the bowels of his collection but through even more layers – step by descending step – of cased attractions. At bottom were all the freak animals, the oddities, and his “live-in taxidermist” and restorer. Nothing halfway about Bill Jamieson.
Although Billy is largely self-educated, he has become respected for his growing expertise as an Ethnologist Museoligist. He has also financed five expeditions into the jungles of Ecuador and Peru, at times visiting the Shuar tribe, among other cultures. (…) Bill lists Mick Jagger, Steven Tyler, Getty Lee, Danny Elfman, Jonathan Davis, Tim Burton, and Nikki Sixx among his many celebrity visitors.