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Preparing a museum group

Identifier: Film Collection no. 255

Scope and Contents

This film depicts the various stages of the preparation of a diorama in the AMNH Hall of North American Mammals. First, the background is done by museum artist James Perry Wilson, who uses a chalked plumb line and ruler to draw a grid on the concave background for the group. From a smaller corresponding grid on which a preliminary drawing has been made, Wilson then does a charcoal sketch on the wall grid, and color is applied until the background painting is complete. Next, display artist Charles B. Tornell provides the three-dimensional aspect to the display, creating rocks by dipping burlap in a plaster and water mixture which is draped over a wire frame. He also is seen constructing a tree. Once these are complete, taxidermist George Adams drills holes into a log into which rods extending from the mounted fisher's feet are placed. Once installed the animal is combed.


  • 1950

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Not available through interlibrary loan. Contact AMNH Library Special Collections for terms of access.


1 Film Reel (27 minutes) : silent, color ; 16 mm.

1 Videocassette (U-Matic (27 minutes)) : silent, color ; 3/4 in.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

3/4 in., U-Matic, viewing copy


Original format: 16 mm. print.


Preparing a museum group, 1950
Iris Lee
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Museum Archives at the Gottesman Research Library Repository

American Museum of Natural History
200 Central Park West
New York NY 10024 USA
(212) 769-5420