As winter grips the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, things may appear a bit more ‘quiet’ than it does during the hustle and bustle of summer. Rivers and streams freeze and form waterfalls, snowpack accumulates on mountain tops, and grizzly bears retreat to their sleepy dens and await spring.
But there is no time for hibernating at the Draper Natural History Museum. In December and January, the Draper partnered with Chase Studio, Inc. (Cedar Creek, MO) to repair, improve, and enhance Draper galleries.
“The Draper is a dynamic, living natural history museum. We upgrade exhibit content and galleries as new information, acquisitions, technology, methods, and resources allow.” Says the Draper’s Assistant Curator of Natural Science Corey Anco.
Draper Natural History Curatorial Assistant Bonnie Lawrence-Smith says, “We have been extremely fortunate to have the creative vision of Terry Chase and his staff at Chase Studio, Inc. From the gray wolf exhibit that draws you in at the entrance down to the interactive golden eagle nest in Monarch of the Skies, Chase Studios have infused our galleries with life.”
Visitors are invited to enjoy two new mountain goats recently acquired from a donor in Montana and installed in the Alpine Biome. Following bighorn and mountain goat tracks across the new floor, take in a beautiful new mural that adds depth and natural beauty to their habitat.
One new black bear acquired from another donor in Montana joins a black bear from another exhibit to enhance the Forest Biome.
The Fire exhibit received a significant upgrade. Overhead lights were removed and silhouettes of a ‘burned forest’ were installed behind the vertical plexi-walls. LEDs were then painted and installed at the base of the forest and behind the understory vegetation silhouettes to resemble the glowing embers of a recent or active forest fire. Overstory vegetation silhouettes were also added along the back wall of the Mountain Forest Exhibit and red lights were replaced with blue lights near the Avalanche Exhibit. The effect is eerie and educational!
Anco says, “These improvements more completely represent the stories and information presented in each exhibit while providing a stunning, visual context and a more immersive experience for the visitor.”
“If you haven’t been to the Draper Natural History Museum since last summer,” Anco continues, “there is much more to explore, including Monarch of the Skies: The Golden Eagle in Greater Yellowstone and the American West, a new permanent exhibition also done by Chase Studio Inc., which opened in June 2018 on the Draper’s lower level.”
Since 1917, the award-winning Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming, has devoted itself to sharing the story of the authentic American West. The Center is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. For more information, visit centerofthewest.org or the Center’s pages on Facebook and Twitter.
Contact: Corey Anco at [email protected] or 307-578-4093.