Our collection consists of a retrospect of artifacts to help illustrate the history of exhibit dioramas including all its components, such as taxidermy, biological models, botanical models, and murals. We are continually building an in-depth library of materials, such as glass eyes, jaw sets, ear liners, and mannequins. Molds, maquettes, and other tools used for creating these pieces will offer a historic record of how these exhibits were constructed. One goal of the collection is to create a visual chronological timeline depicting the evolution of materials and methods used in the industry, utilizing artifacts from various time periods.
As part of the collection, a library of historic books, journals, and notes permit visitors to reference and experience firsthand the work of these past artists. The Institute’s collection helps museums better care for and maintain exhibits while educating the public on their continued relevance as teaching tools for environmental science and wildlife conservation.
Help Us Build Our Collection
It is often artifacts such as taxidermy forms, molds, specialized tools, expedition and collecting equipment that become de-prioritized or discarded. As a by-product of the collection building process, these pieces have become the missing links between the process and the finished piece. Through the creation of a collection of artifacts, the development of research, and the formation of educational programs, the Institute aims to fulfill its mission.
These materials are already difficult to find and are being lost at an increasingly rapid rate. For this reason, we are seeking assistance in acquiring these items. The list linked below outlines some of the more common items we are in search of. Acquisitions are not limited to these items and if you have something you feel may fit our mission and be an important part of our collection, please let us know.
The Institute for Natural History Arts is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. Donations are 100% tax deductible as allowed by the law.
Artifacts from collecting expeditions throughout history will be gathered to help better understand the methods and materials used in creating natural history collections. The Institute will examine how museum expeditions and collecting have changed over time.