Field Museum Dioramas

I went in for my regular volunteer shift at the Field Museum yesterday. I spent my lunch wandering around the Hall of Plants. It's become one of my favorite parts of the public collections. I adore the old models and dioramas. There is a charming, old world quality to them, but their beautiful attention to detail is timeless. I took a photo of a liverwort display, a backlit model of some algae, a fungus display. The models' original purpose was to aid in a scientific understanding of the plants, but to me they are also beautiful and strange objets d'art. Is it an algae specimen or abstract watercolor painting? Meera, another bird division volunteer, was talking about the extraordinary glass flower specimens at Harvard. The flowers were created with remarkable detail by Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka in the late 1800s. They were father and son jewelry makers that lived near Dresden, and they made over 4000 specimens for the Harvard collections. More information can be found here.


  1. Beautiful stuff.

    One of my favourite spots in the renovated Royal Ontario Museum is the Staircase of Wonder. Each landing highlights shells, glass vases, beetles and other fascinating items juxtaposed together.

  2. These are SO cool! I'm glad there's a way for grade-school diorama lovers to translate their skills into an occupation. Wish I'd have thought to go that manta scene made of homemade play-dough could have rocked the museum.

  3. 'What's a diorama?'

    (I've decided to channel the Simpsons in honor of your birthday).

    What I should've said was, these are incredible!


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