Timber Wolf Diorama Restored

Have you seen the new wolf diorama in our redesigned gift shop?

Like many of the other fixtures in the shop, the diorama was pulled out of storage and reused. But the journey from storage to store wasn’t as simple as just dusting off the case. Museum conservators spent hours cleaning, repairing, and researching this piece before it was put on display last month. 

Conservator Gretchen Anderson spent several days examining, photographing, and researching the diorama. The Carnegie archives revealed that the timber wolf was collected near Denali National Park in Alaska. The taxidermy mount was created in 1928 by well-known taxidermist Remi Santens. The background paintings in the diorama weren’t created until the late 1950s or early 1960s.

To prepare the diorama, Gretchen had to carefully clean the background paintings, and groom the wolf’s fur. The wolf’s paws were damaged when they were moved and disconnected from the mount. Gretchen slowly repaired the paw by re-adhering the wolf’s hide to the plaster with a papier-mâché technique that used special, non-acidic paper. 

Next time you’re at the museum, check out the new gift shop and take a closer look at the timber wolf and his beautifully restored paws!