Tag Archives: Diorama

Big Horn Sheep (normal)

Big Horn Sheep (mirrored)

Here are two more views of the Big Horn Sheep group at the Yale Peabody Museum, with a background painting by James Perry Wilson. The top view is the right way round for the diorama and the lower one is mirrored – the correct way round for the original site near Banff in the Canadian Rockies. Again, if anyone recognises the exact location I would be grateful to hear from you.

It is hard to see the curve of the background shell in these views so I will assemble a slightly sideways stereoscopic view to see if that helps, and will post it if it does.

Employ the usual technique to resolve the stereoscopic images – make them small enough so that when you go cross eyed you can register the same sheep over each other when you go cross-eyed. You will see three images as you do this – concentrate on the middle one and try to relax. You can buy glasses (lorgnettes) to help resolve them and these definitely help when the images are larger, but I find I get a better three dimensionality when working without them.


Big Horn Sheep

Big Horn Sheep

Big Horn Sheep

A few posts ago (here) I asked if anyone knew the location that this diorama at the Yale Peabody Museum represents. It is near Banff in the Canadian Rockies and one suggestion since then is that it is in the Bow Valley where Banff resides (thank you Mr. Bergem). Here are some snaps of the diorama (check against the survey photograph) that you can see has been mirrored. It is a wonderful diorama so if you are in New Haven do make sure you se it! There are others there, especially the Longshore diorama, that will also make the trip worthwhile.

Again, if anyone recognizes the exact location of the site (reversed) I would be very grateful to hear from you. Below is J.P.Wilson’s test drawing on a model of the diorama. You can see the projection lines for his dual-grid system of diorama projection on the model floor.

Big Horn Sheep

Jeffrey Pine Forest

This is another James Perry Wilson diorama, this time from the Hall of North American Forests at the American Museum of Natural History. Wilson had brought the rigour of architectural perspective projection to diorama painting and had developed his dual grid method of perspectival projection to deal with the cycloramic diorama shell. In his later work (this gallery opened in 1957) he was also using stereoscopic photography in his survey work and would paint working from stereoscopic viewers. If you compare his forest paintings of this time with the work of others there is a spatial clarity in the shaded areas that is unique, a facility that I suspect is partly due to what is revealed in his stereoscopic surveys.

See the posts below for suggestions on how to view stereoscopic images.