Permanent Midnight: Wolf Diorama Gets New "Moon Shadows"

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The dioramas in the Jill and Lewis Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals have always been splendid, but after more than a year of painstaking restoration, they look better than ever. A multi-video series, now on and on the Museum's YouTube channel, documents their renovation.

Midnight in winter, near Gunflint Lake, Minnesota. Two wolves chase an unseen deer, as the Northern Lights (aurora borealis) glimmer behind them. 

Wolf diorama new science


© AMNH/R. Mickens

During the recent renovation of the Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals, all light fixtures were replaced with more energy-efficient alternatives. But the five lights above the wolf diorama created new challenges for the team working to restore it. How did the team re-create the illusion of blue moonlight raking over the snowy landscape? In the video, Museum artist Stephen C. Quinn explains the process.

For more images of the hall’s celebrated dioramas, behind-the-scenes videos, archival photos, and more, download the official app, for iOS or Android.

To watch the full video series, visit

Tags: Dioramas