The Kid Should See This

Making aloe plants for the hyena diorama at The Field Museum

How are natural history museum dioramas—scenes showing animals within their native habitats—created to last for years and years of viewings? In this behind-the-scenes video from Chicago’s Field Museum, Exhibitions Preparator Kate Ulschmid uses a real aloe plant leaf to create neoprene (synthetic rubber) ones that can be glued and painted to look real.

The crafted plants are replicas of ones seen in expedition photos from 1896 when Carl Akeley collected four striped hyenas from their Somali habitat. Akeley, a biologist, conservationist, nature photographer, and taxidermist, is famous for modernizing natural history museum displays.

Next: Building a True-to-Life Butterfly for a Habitat Diorama, Installing massive statues with engineering and care at the Met, and Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle Restoration at MSI Chicago.

🌈 Related videos

Moving and restoring an ancient Greek mosaic

Rion Nakaya

Adrian Esparza’s Wake and Wonder at the Pérez Art Museum Miami

Rion Nakaya

How art conservator Julian Baumgartner restores damaged paintings

Rion Nakaya

The Challenge of a Straight Line and ‘Making Art Concrete’ – Getty Museum

Rion Nakaya

The Art and Science of Conservation at the Freer Gallery of Art

Rion Nakaya

Andreas Gursky at the Hayward Gallery

Rion Nakaya

Building a True-to-Life Butterfly for a Habitat Diorama – AMNH

Rion Nakaya

The meticulous work that goes into running the Museum of Modern Art

Rion Nakaya

How Do You Dismantle a Dino? (Very Carefully)

Rion Nakaya

 
Browse the TKSST Video Collections

Get 7 smart videos delivered every week.

 

Subscribe