The Natural History Museum in NYC has put a collection of historical photos online, including some fantastic images of the construction of some of their famous displays and dioramas. Pruned pulled out a few of the best for a recent post.
During the first decades of the 20th century, the AMNH posed its T. rex bones in an upright position, propped on its tail. Skeletons were broken, some bent and others removed altogether so that it looked like the “marauding predator” people thought they were. And also so that it didn’t look too diminutive in the large exhibition hall. Natural history as a function of architecture: it had to reach high up to the ceiling, fill up all that space, loom large over the crowds.