How To Set Up A Natural History Exhibition - Top 3 Tips by newtohr

How To Set Up A Natural History Exhibition: Top 3 Tips

You may not know what you’re in for when it comes to setting up a natural history exhibition. The task can seem daunting, but if you follow these three steps, your chances of success will be much higher. This blog post will give you the information that you need to set up an informative and eye-catching display with minimal hassle.

1) Plan Ahead

The first step in setting up a natural history exhibition is planning ahead. This means that you need to consider the space that you have available and the amount of time that you have to set up the exhibit. It’s also important to plan what type of display you want to create and gather all necessary materials before starting assembly.

If possible, it’s helpful to visit other museums or nature centers to get ideas for your own exhibit. Drawing inspiration from others can help make your project more successful and less stressful.

2) Select Your Displays

There are many different ways to display specimens you have collected or items you have borrowed. The most common displays include cabinets, dioramas, plates and plaques, shadow boxes, cases with glass tops, stands on which objects can be displayed at an angle in front of a wall-mounted background board (also known as Slatwall), rotating exhibits mounted on lazy Susans or turntables for 360° viewing opportunities.

There is no one “right” way to set up any type of natural history exhibit; it all depends upon the size of your space and what types of materials you would like to use.

However, there are some general guidelines for each type of display:

  • Cabin – Cabinets provide enclosed spaces in which to display objects. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes but are generally square or rectangular. Cabinets can be freestanding or wall-mounted.
  • Diorama – Dioramas are three-dimensional scenes that usually depict animals or plants in their natural habitats . Some dioramas have removable backgrounds for easy viewing of the specimens inside, while others use forced perspective and creative lighting effects to create the illusion of depth. 
  • Plate/Plaque – Plates and plaques are flat displays on which specimens or other objects can be mounted for examination. They can be made from a variety of materials, including wood, metal, plastic, and glass. 
  • Shadow Box – Shadow boxes are similar to cabinets in that they are enclosed spaces. They differ in that they have glass or clear plastic on all sides, allowing for specimens to be viewed from multiple angles.

3) Choose Your Specimens

Once you have decided on the type of display that you would like to use, it’s time to select specimens. Selecting specimens for an exhibit can be difficult because many factors need to be considered.

For example, natural history exhibits typically focus on one or two main groups of organisms (e.g birds, mammals) with some additional featured objects related either by taxonomic similarity (such as rocks and minerals), human interaction (such as hunting trophies), historical significance, animatronic dinosaurs or aesthetic value.

In conclusion, setting up a natural history exhibition can be overwhelming, but if you plan ahead and follow these three tips, it will make the process much easier. 

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