200 Years. 200 Stories. Story 88: “Behind the Scenes ”

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photo of a woodworker using a router
Exhibit preparator Mike Beers uses a router on one of the display cabinets destined for Secrets of the Diorama, a new permanent exhibit that will open in February 2012.

Behind the Scenes

Mike Beers, Exhibit Preparator, builds a monitor cover for a video about diorama foregrounds that will be featured in our newest permanent exhibit, Secrets of the Diorama, opening February 4, 2012. Plans for the exhibit have been underway since last summer when a series of adult education classes revealed attendees’ intense fascination with the expeditions, taxidermy, and artistry that went into building our dioramas. If you can’t wait to find out more about what is inside the animals in the dioramas, you want to touch an antelope tongue, or you’re wondering why the dioramas are important at all, this exhibit is for you!

“Nobody will be disappointed by knowing the secrets,” explains Jennifer Sontchi, acting director of Exhibits. “In fact, visitors will enjoy the dioramas more when they understand why and how they were built.”

Academy experts in exhibit development, exhibit design, graphic design, exhibit fabrication, writing, and audiovisual technology have come together to create this one-of-a-kind educational environment. After brainstorming sessions, hours in the Library and Archives, meetings, sketches, carpentry, and more, the team has created a state-of-the-art space that will allow you to experience the dioramas with fresh eyes. The exhibit will contain lush, large-scale graphics that help tell the story of our dioramas; touchable items; interactive taxidermy learning opportunities; taxidermy tools; videos on diorama history; and more information on all of our diorama secrets.

Learn more about creating the dioramas, and visit us in just two months to learn everything you ever wanted to know about these amazing exhibits.

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