Earlier in this blog I posted some of the research I have done on habitat dioramas. Some of the best examples are at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, and the Hall of North American Mammals there is just about the high point of the art. Most or the really amazing ones are by James Perry Wilson (I will post some examples later in the week) but there are also some other wonderful ones, such as the Alaska Brown Bear with a background painting by Belmore Browne (1941).
As usual with the stereoscopic images, click on the image and then make it small enough so that you can resolve both images over each other when you go cross-eyed. You will see three images and should concentrate on the middle one. If you can hold the image, try to relax and the depth will improve. The 3D resolution makes a very different sense of the image as you can see where the tie-in is between the material foreground and pictorial background, something that is (skilfully) lost when you see it as a picture.
I took these pictures a while ago – since then many of the dioramas have been re-lit, a little brighter than before. They have been beautifully restored but I am not so keen on the brighter lighting. Don’t miss them if you are in New York.