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Showing blog posts tagged with "Art Classes for Adults"

Animal Drawing Entices Artists of All Stripes

Education posts

For over 30 years, Museum naturalist and diorama master Stephen Quinn has shown students the art of drawing animals—from their skeletal composition, to their musculature, to the nuanced patterns of their coats and gaits. The course always draws students with a range of backgrounds, including expert medical illustrators and comic book artists as well as enthusiastic beginners. And every year, Quinn sees a few familiar faces.

One belongs to George Corbin, who has taken the course five times and has already signed up for Animal Drawing’s spring session, which will run for eight weeks beginning on Thursday, March 15. 

Tags: Art Classes for Adults

Animal Drawing: Q&A with Diorama Artist Steve Quinn

Animal Drawing: Q&A with Diorama Artist Steve Quinn


When night falls on Thursdays at the Museum, a group of people carrying sketchpads and charcoal enters the doors and heads to the animal halls. For over 30 years, Stephen C. Quinn, an artist in the Museum’s Exhibition Department and an expert on dioramas, has led a special evening course on Animal Drawingthat teaches students the art of drawing nature using the Museum’s famous dioramas and displays. This spring’s session will begin on Thursday, March 15. Below, Quinn answers a few questions about the course.

Tags: Art Classes for Adults, Q&A

Finding the Site of an Iconic Museum Diorama

News posts

Each of the Museum’s treasured habitat dioramas depicts a scene from a real place, cast in the light of a particular time of day. These re-creations are based on meticulous observations of scientists in the field and the on-site sketches of the artists who accompanied them. Last fall, Stephen C. Quinn of the Museum’s Exhibition Department took a remarkable trip to locate the exact site of the Museum’s mountain gorilla diorama and record the changes that have taken place in the 80-plus years since Carl Akeley’s final visit. Below is Quinn’s article about his journey, which originally appeared  in the Summer issue of Rotunda, the Members’ magazine.

When Carl Akeley—explorer, naturalist, artist, and taxidermist who created the Museum’s Akeley Hall of African Mammals—first encountered the mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei) in 1921, it was a creature steeped in myth and folklore. Akeley, who was researching and collecting specimens to create the now-famous mountain gorilla diorama, was among the first to accurately document mountain gorillas as intelligent and social animals that, even then, were under grave threat from overhunting. His research inspired him to dedicate the last few years of his life to the conservation and protection of the mountain gorilla. Akeley convinced King Albert of Belgium to set aside 200 square miles that would be their sanctuary, creating Africa’s first national park, which today lies in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the border with Uganda and Rwanda, and which has been classified a World Heritage site by UNESCO since 1979.

Tags: Art Classes for Adults