Gift #45: Museum sketches (Denver Museum #3)

Today I wanted to share with you some of the beautiful sketches throughout the Denver Museum of Natural History.  Most of these sketches are found on the signage identifying the specimens in the wildlife dioramas.  These little sketches are charming and are one of my favorite aspects of the museum.  It speaks to the love that went into preparing a place that celebrates the beauty of the natural world, as well as the science of discovering it.  The museum has a display showing how the dioramas were created.  What’s especially amazing is the foliage.  Samples were taken from the field, then plaster casts made of every bit of vegetation.  Vinyl sheets were pressed into the casts, individual leaves cut out, and hand-painted with airbrushes to achieve realistic look.  The WPA (Works Progress Administration) staffed the artisans who made all the diorama vegetation by hand during the 1930.  A book I have about the museum says they made 56,000 leaves and 5,000 stalks in 1937 alone.  Reknown artists, Walter Love and Alfred Bailey, were responsible for much of the paintings done for the diaorama backgrounds.  My first post on the museum featured pics of those.  The hall underwent a renovation in the 1990s and that’s when the new signage and organization of the exhibits ocurred, under the direction of Frances Kruger and curator Carron Meaney.  I love the pictures and it’s fun to watch visitors to the museum try to match the specimens with their sketches.  I hope you enjoy the sketches too. 

Blessings to you,

Sarah

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