Construction of the Silurian Reef Diorama

Construction of the Silurian reef diorama was an interactive process involving Museum scientists, exhibit specialists, artists and carpenters. Planning for the diorama began in 1977, construction began in 1981, and the diorama opened to the public in 1983.

Initial stage of construction, showing background painting, carpentry that supports the reef topography, and placement of large coral models.

Thousands of wax models of reef organisms were made by Terry Chase Studios. The models are detailed reconstructions based on fossil specimens, with soft parts interpreted from living relatives. Colors used for the models are speculative.

Background painting is now complete, carpentry has been covered, and most of the wax models are in place.

Large cephalopod models are in place and exhibit specialists install the final wax models.

© 1997, Milwaukee Public Museum, Inc.