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Re: Museology



The academy of Science in SF does very well in it's (very small) paleo
section.  

They have a mix of periods on display, so they're arrraiged so's you
pass through each period chronologically.
Each period has a main life-size (or bigger than life-size in the case
of the Cambrian display) diorama.  The diorama is a whole area of that
time-dirt, plants, MOVING WATER (big emphasis as it prevents the
exhibits from looking too static), minor animatronics, and large static
animals.  Outside the windows are arboretum specimins of plants of
ancient lineages like Monkeypuzzle trees (clever since kids can't get to
'em to break off twigs or what not).

For example the Deinonychus diorama has 3 lifesize Deinos (Steve
Czerkas) running through a redwood forest made from real tree sections
(local interest and reinforces what people recognize), ALSO hidden in
the diorama are a stuffed squirrel-like mammal (with an animatronic
tail), a small crocodile (in the real water-sadly people still toss
pennies on it's back), and some dragonflies.  So a kid will look at the
display with the attention span of a gnat but still find things to
discover, and a dinonut would spend more time looking at the beautiful
Czerkas work.

You don't just see everything in the display the first time you walk up
to it but keep seeing new stuff.  VERY good display work.  The layout is
well done as it keeps turning you into seeing a new display or a new
aspect of one you may have already seen.  VERY good use of space.  A
rustling twigs and scmapering sort of soundtrack runs quietly in the
background if you listen for it. Surrounding the major dioramas are
smaller displays of fossils and articulated mounts-an SF museum doesn't
have a lot of real dino stuff after all, this is California....the 
Miocene mammal section is well stocked however ;]

Only thing missing that would make it an A-1 paleo section (in my mind)
would be to have a working prep lab in it such as the one in the Page
Museum at La Brea.

You wanna ask me more, go ahead.  I've docented there often enough.

-Betty Cunningham

"Thomas R. Holtz, Jr." wrote:
> What would the ideal early 21rst Century dinosaur hall look like at a given
> museum?
> 
> That is, what do you, the interested public, want to see in future dinosaur
> exhibits?
> 
> I'm looking here for all aspects: particular mounts (of taxa previously not
> mounted; of new and interesting positions...); means of organizing exhibits;
> type and topic of text; interactivity (if so, what kind); life
> reconstructions or not; etc.

-- 
Flying Goat Graphics
http://www.flyinggoat.com
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