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52 Weeks of Urban Nature Week Eleven: Painted Edition

February 7, 2016
52 Weeks Week 11 for Twitter

Sunset, (c) Megan Draheim, 2016


We’ve had a couple of incredibly vivid sunsets in the last few weeks. When I was growing up in Chicago, two of my favorite museums were (and really still are) the Field Museum of Natural History and the Chicago Historical Society. What both have in common are dioramas — for the Field Museum, taxidermied wild animals and the landscapes they belonged in, and for the Chicago Historical Society, Chicago history (of course!). Some of the backgrounds were just stunning — true works of art.

Now, I do have some conflicting feelings about the Field Museum’s dioramas. After all, they do contain dead animals (albeit long-dead animals — some of them from the 1800’s). But there was something magical about them, and very real, and I’m not alone in thinking about their value to education and imagination. In fact, there was just a successful crowdfunding campaign to create a new diorama (using specimens from 1896, but putting them into a new scene); the new hyena diorama was unveiled last month.

In any case, this sunset reminded me of one of those backdrops. Like a painting, but also real.

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