Windows on Nature: The Great Habitat Dioramas of the American Museum of Natural History
- Stephen Christopher Quinn
Dazzling the millions who troop past, the habitat dioramas of New York's American Museum of Natural History, including this gorilla showcase, have fused science and art into hyper-real three-dimensional displays of animals in their native savannah, swamp or plain. Windows on Nature: The Great Habitat Dioramas of the American Museum of Natural History by Stephen Christopher Quinn (Harry N. Abrams, $40) takes a behind-the-scenes look at more than 40 of them, each a testament to the explorers, naturalists, taxidermists and artists who painstakingly brought them to life more than half a century ago. This heroic task — it took 18 years to complete the 29 dioramas of the North American mammal section alone — inspired a number of conservation measures, as well as considerable awe.