Video Series Offers Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Restoration of the Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals

On Exhibit posts

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—giving visitors close looks at many species of North American flora and fauna. 

A multi-video series, now on and on the Museum's YouTube channel, documents the renovation of the dioramas, from the animals themselves to the foreground landscapes and background paintings.

The careful restoration of the antelope jackrabbit's ears, for example, included adding lost hairs by hand and repainting the inner ears, to mimic the effect of orange-pink sunlight glowing through. 

The Museum team replenished the foreground in the American bison and pronghorn diorama using real grasses sent from a prairie preserve in the U.S. Great Plains.

The faded fur of animals including coyotes, black-footed ferrets, and bison was primped and re-dyed to its original colors, a rich brown in the case of the bison.


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

Visit the fully restored Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals, now open.

To watch the full video series, visit