Stuart was born in Northern California in 1973. As a youth Stuart had an early fascination with wildlife, spending countless hours outdoors camping, hunting, drawing and learning about the outdoors and wildlife. During high school Stuart took an apprenticeship at International Big Game Studio of Taxidermy in Santa Rosa, California. For five years he studied the art of taxidermy, learning a solid foundation of its techniques and general business applications. The focus of International Big Game Studio of Taxidermy was North American game and in 1990 Stuart achieved a 1st place blue ribbon for a blacktail deer by respected judge Joe Meder.
In 1994 Stuart took the opportunity to apply his skills at the world renowned Animal Artistry, Inc in Reno Nevada. Starting in the habitat and finishing department, Stuart added skills not taught by his previous employer. In 1995 Stuart moved into the taxidermy department and worked under Cliff Hales, Ben Gilbert and Mike Boyce. Stuart learned and developed new and innovative taxidermy and habitat techniques with his Animal Artistry colleagues. Many of these techniques have revolutionized the way big game taxidermy is done.
Over his twelve year tenure at Animal Artistry, Stuart worked in all positions including Taxidermy Foreman, Production Manager, and ultimately General Manager. This experience has proved invaluable as Stuart has traveled the country and abroad meeting clients, designing and building trophy rooms and managing work crews in varied locations. In 2000 Stuart Farnsworth and Tony Ward traveled to Zimbabwe to hunt and study African game. Stuart returned to Africa three more times in the following years to further hunt and study live African game. Stuart has had his work displayed on the cover of Breakthrough magazine and has been featured in interviews with Mike Boyce by Larry Bloomquist about the business side of taxidermy. Stuart has also had the opportunity to sculpt forms which are currently offered through Mckenzie as part of the Animal Artistry line.
In 2004, Stuart went back to college to complete the business degree he passed up to take the Animal Artistry opportunity. Working full days as general manager and attending classes at night Stuart successfully completed his Bachelors of Science in Management in 2006, graduating Suma Cum Lade.
Stuart relocated to Helena, MT with his wife Cherie, their children and three pet Akitas.
In 2006 Stuart Farnsworth and long–time colleague Tony Ward started Monarch Taxidermy. This new venture combines top notch quality and creativity along with the personalized service and price of a smaller home-town studio.
In 2007 Stuart and Tony were invited to teach seminars at the World Taxidermy Championships. Tony offered his habitat techniques to a packed house at the Reno event while Stuart demonstrated his expertise in form alterations the following day. Stuart and Tony’s techniques have recently been published in the leading taxidermy trade publications.
Habitat Design & Construction
Tony has spent a lifetime camping, hiking, hunting and studying the outdoors. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Commercial Art from Arkansas Tech University, which he attended on an ROTC scholarship.
Following a military career which included six years in Europe, Tony left the Army in 1992 at the rank of Major. Determined to turn a lifelong passion for hunting and taxidermy into a second career, he attended taxidermy school during the summer of the same year. For the next five years, Tony was the owner of Great Outdoors Taxidermy in his home state of Arkansas.
In the fall of 1997, Tony accepted a position as the director of the habitat and finishing department for Animal Artistry in Reno, Nevada. For five years, he was instrumental in the development of cutting edge techniques of habitat design and construction for which Animal Artistry is famous worldwide. Another of his duties included traveling to all parts of the country meeting clients in their homes for consultation on development of unique, custom designed trophy room displays. These private trophy rooms often became one-of-a-kind natural history displays rivaling anything found in the best museums. There were also even larger displays ranging from 2000 to over 8000 square feet of habitat for such noteworthy clients as Cabelas and for museums in Nevada and Utah. Equally noteworthy though, were the thousands of individual habitats painstakingly produced on a daily basis in this busy studio. Tony and the team of technicians he trained have been responsible for creating habitat for literally every huntable species worldwide.
Tony left Animal Artistry to accept a position teaching taxidermy and habitat in Montana in 2002. During this period, Tony spent six months of the year teaching the fundamentals of taxidermy and habitat creation to students from all across the United States and several foreign countries and the remaining portion of each year working on large private trophy rooms, museum dioramas and other exhibits.
In over 35 years of hunting, Tony has hunted on four continents and still has a long list of unfulfilled hunting goals. Tony is actively pursuing one major goal of completing the North American “Super Ten” which entails taking one animal in each of the ten recognized groups of North American big game.