A beautiful but now lost diorama of Carlsbad Caverns of New Mexico. Originally created by George Marchand, for Physical Geology, Hall 34. This document is from an 8×10 negative taken in 9/28/1955.
I had the pleasure of supporting the crowdfunding campaign put on by The Brain Scoop to help complete the Field Museum’s Striped Hyena Diorama. These sorts of large scale diorama aren’t something you associate with contemporary museum practices. They often seem like artifacts of a bygone age. But to see a new diorama like this is a reminder of the sense of wonder and curiosity this combination of art and science can invoke.
The Field Museum’s staff artist Aaron Delehanty posted a fantastic set of images documenting the diorama construction process. The Brain Scoop, the youtube channel behind the fundraiser, has also done a fantastic job documenting the process over a series of videos. The end result is a vista that captures your gaze and your imagination.
A series of bowls made of sand and flour, baked in a home oven.
This project was born from the desire to explore a simpler world, leaving aside the huge amount of possibilities that technology and materials allows us. A research after african tribes brought me to understand that by combining basic methods and basic materials, it is possible to build an amazing and inspirational culture. In attempt to track their way of life, I choose the materials, traditional techniques and workspace that modern world considers as basic and obvious. This combination led me to create a special series of bowls, each piece different from the other.
The project ‘Memory Lane’ consists of a series of sculptures and audio-visual works reproducing relevant places to the childhood of the two authors. 3D scanning and rendering blend the actual environments with their virtual replicas. The final results diverge from the original models. Some elements appear detached, defined and prominent. Others fade, merge with one another; the light behaves unnaturally, what is solid gets intangible, physical laws are subverted. It all allows the typical atmosphere of fantasy or even science-fiction to set in, leading us into realising we are not facing a mere depiction of actual places but of distorted and glorified memories.
By reproducing the sceneries of the authors’ childhood games, ‘Memory Lane’ recovers the pleasure and emotions of those past moments. Ultimately it was their very evocative character that led the authors to artistic creativity later on in life.
Landscape and boundary lines are central themes in the development of Karl Prantl’s work. At Pöttsching where he lives and works, his sculptures are laid out along the edges of a long thin field, emphasising the region’s history of strip farming, and leading the eye towards the distant hills of the border between Austria and Hungary.
All his life he has striven to break down barriers between different cultures and countries. This was particularly true during the fifties and early sixties when Prantl made contact with artists working in Eastern bloc countries, and established a series of stone carving symposia. This culminated in the development of the St Margarethen stone quarry Workshop in eastern Austria which acted as a catalyst for the organisation of many more symposia, often in troubled areas such as Berlin and the Israeli desert. Stone for Prantl provides the fabric of life. He would agree with the poet James H. White who wrote, “there are plenty of ruined buildings in the world but no ruined stones.” Stone has an eternal quality. It comes from the earth and returns to the earth. Stones reveal traces of previous existences and contain their own history and many of the stones Prantl has used have at one time had a different purpose or function.
Long before sophisticated wildlife photography, artists in the field captured the color and movement of birds for the background paintings of the Museum’s dioramas. Similarly, bird taxidermists studied their subjects’ anatomy and behavior to achieve a natural effect, most dramatically in flight. Here, long-time exhibition artist Stephen C. Quinn explores the work of painters Louis Agassiz Fuertes and Francis Lee Jacques and taxidermist David Schwendeman.