New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, NJ
The complex subject of global warming is of critical importance to the world as a whole. Unfortunately, a temperate climate and the slow progression of this trend make it difficult for the average American to discern any significant impact in his or her area.
The exhibit Rising Tide, at the New Jersey State Museum, demonstrates that climate change has had a profound effect on this coastal state since the end of the last Ice Age, and continues to do so today. Mounting this exhibit offered The New Jersey State Museum the chance to maximize the generous funding provided by Public Service Enterprise Group, Inc. Much of the exhibit was culled from the museum’s extensive natural history collection, providing an opportunity to restore many historic taxidermy specimens.
The museum initially contacted George Dante and Wildlife Preservations to assess their collection and suggest recommendations for its restoration and preservation. Wildlife Preservations was later retained to restore a polar bear, a musk ox, a harbor seal and the head of a walrus. These animals were included in the exhibit because they were commonly found in the state of New Jersey during the last glacial age. The pelts of all these specimens required a thorough cleaning and conditioning. The nose and tongue of the polar bear was reconstructed, and the ivory tusks of the walrus were stabilized. New ground forms were created for each specimen, depicting pack ice and snow-covered tundra. The walrus head, which was originally mounted on a wall plaque, was repositioned to appear as if the animal was breaking through an ice floe.
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Rising Tide will be on display at the New Jersey State Museum until January 24th, 2010. To find out more about this exhibit, click here.