So Minnesota: Bell Museum dioramas

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It’s world famous for wildlife dioramas with scenes from across Minnesota. 

The Bell Museum in St. Paul has dioramas that feature realistic foregrounds and painted mural backdrops. Dioramas at Bell date back more than a century. The animals are real, and nearly everything else was created by artists.

“Starting in the 1900s, dioramas became a really big art form for museums,” said Jennifer Menken the Bell Museum. “They were a way of capturing places people couldn’t go to easily.”

Dioramas capture a particular place and moment in our history.

When Bell Museum moved from its former building into its current home in 2018, workers had to painstakingly moved each and every one.

“For 16 months, we moved the dioramas from one building to the other, and in that process was quite a challenge,” Menken said.