This morning Gary Hoyle explains how plant models in a diorama are restored. Our interesting conversation continues!
ArtPlantae: The dioramas in the Hall of North American Mammals at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) are in the process of being restored. The New York Times featured a story about the restoration last year. This article includes a behind-the-scenes video of diorama artists at work. The article focuses mostly on the restoration of mammals. My question to you is… what about the plants? The shrubs, grasses and trees surely fade over time like the fur of the mammals. How do you freshen up a 30-year old plant model?
Gary: Well, I guess I could give a general answer. A 30-year old model might need some cleaning with a gentle current of air from an air brush and the use of a dry sable or camel hair brush, and very likely it will need a color restoration because of prolonged exposure to exhibit lights. However, the truth is that every situation is different, and sometimes it’s necessary to consult with specialists such as painting and objects conservators especially when dealing with exhibit models more than 50-years old.