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Behind the Scenes at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin

During the Wunderkammer Drawing Workshop we’ve been so lucky to meet some of the scientists that work at the Natural History Museum and not only hear about their research but gain access to the research collections and draw from their specimens.

It has been fascinating to learn how different disciplines within the natural sciences record and document their specimens. There are varying traditions according to the scientific branch, responding to the unique characteristics of their subject matter. 

For example, fossils are documented using composite high resolution photographs made even more detailed by coating the specimens in a fine white powder. 

Crustaceans and spiders are still drawn with paper and pencil, using a camera lucida attached to a microscope. More recently, Dr. Coleman at the museum has developed new techniques using computer vector drawing. 

Minerals, on the other hand, are described using mathematical equations fed into a 3D modeling program where specimens are approximated using different measurements of proportions and angles.

The first module of our workshop held in collaboration with the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin has come to a finish, however we have a second module focused on watercolor starting soon!  Join us in our exploration of the museum collections, inspired by the figure of the Naturalist. 

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