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Natural History Dioramas: History, Construction and Educational Role

By: Sue Dale Tunnicliffe(Editor), Annette Scheersoi(Editor)

299 pages, 50 b/w illustrations


Paperback | Sep 2016 | #236745 | ISBN-13: 9789402400359
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1 week Details
NHBS Price: £89.99 $115/€100 approx
Hardback | Dec 2014 | #236744 | ISBN-13: 9789401794954
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1 week Details
NHBS Price: £89.99 $115/€100 approx

About this book

This book brings together in a unique perspective aspects of natural history dioramas, their history, construction and rationale, interpretation and educational importance, from a number of different countries, from the west coast of the USA, across Europe to China. It describes the journey of dioramas from their inception through development to visions of their future. A complementary journey is that of visitors and their individual sense making and construction of their understanding from their own starting points, often interacting with others (e.g. teachers, peers, parents) as well as media (e.g. labels). Dioramas have been, hitherto, a rather neglected area of museum exhibits but a renaissance is beginning for them and their educational importance in contributing to people's understanding of the natural world. Natural History Dioramas showcases how dioramas can reach a wide audience and increase access to biological knowledge.


Introduction, Sue Dale Tunnicliffe, London (UK) & Annette Scheersoi, Bonn (D)

I. History and Features of Natural History Dioramas
I.1 History of Dioramas, Claudia Kamcke, Braunschweig, & Rainer Hutterer, Bonn (D)
I.2 Dioramas as historical documents, Rainer Hutterer, Bonn (D)
I.3 A window on the world - wildlife dioramas, Pat Morris, Ascot (US)
I.4 Dioramas as constructs of reality: Art, photography, and the discursive space, Geraldine Howie (UK)
I.5 James Perry Wilson: Shifting paradigms of natural history diorama painting, Michael Anderson, Yale (US)

II. Resurrecting and Modern Dioramas
II.1 Dioramas in Natural History Museum - Tools for nature conservation, John Borg, Mdina (MT)
II.2 Using technology to deepen and extend visitor's interaction with dioramas, Mark Loveland, Barbara Buckley & Edys Quellmalz, WestEd (US)
II.3 Displaying Ecological Landscapes by Dioramas - an example provided by Zhejiang Museum of Natural History, Ximin Kang, Zhejiang (CHN)
II.4 Conservative restoration and reconstruction of historical Natural History Dioramas, Mareike Munsch, Hartmut Schmiese, Aleksandra Angelov, Gunnar Riedel & Jorn Kohler, Darmstadt (D)

III. Learning at dioramas
III.1 Dioramas as important tools in biological education, Sue Dale Tunnicliffe & Annette Scheersoi
III.2 Catching the visitor's interest, Annette Scheersoi
III. 3 Naming and narratives at dioramas, Sue Dale Tunnicliffe
III.4 The evolution of the narrative at natural history dioramas, Alix Cotumaggio, New York (US)
III.5 Imaginary places: Museum visitor perceptions of habitat dioramas, Phaedra Livingstone, Oregon (US)
III.6 Habitat dioramas and sense of place: Factors linked to visitors' feelings about the natural places portrayed in dioramas, Cecilia Garibay & Eric D. Gyllenhaal, Chicago (US)
III.7 The Human connection: Enactors and the facilitated diorama experience, Kathleen Tinworth, Denver (US)
III.8 Storytelling and performance in diorama galleries, Keith Dunmall, Birchington on Sea (UK)
III.9 The diorama as a means for biodiversity education, Martha Marandino, Sao Paolo (Brazil), Marianne Achiam, Copenhagen (DK) & Adriano Oliveira, Sao Paolo (Brazil)
III.10 Interpreting through drawings, Edward Mifsud, Malta (MT)

Conclusion, Michael Reiss, London (UK)

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