Constructing a diorama

One of the key issues in constructing a diorama is geometric in nature. How should the

background, which is necessarily either flat or slightly curved, be designed to provide a convincing framework for the three-dimensional environment to be reproduced?

Should the diorama feature sounds or background music? These may help to draw attention to individual elements of a diorama, but could also condition visitors’ exploration of it.

Should a museum opt for a smaller number of full-size dioramas, which conventionally feature taxidermied animals, or for a greater number of miniature models?

The following interview with a curator at Milan’s Natural History Museum provides a first-hand account of how dioramas are made and of some of the technical difficulties that have been overcome in recent years.