National Geographic : 1963 Feb
The search for new exhibition techniques never ends. Museum technicians are now studying a method of freeze-drying specimens that could revolutionize modern taxidermy. So far the process has successfully preserved mammals as large as a fox without skinning or further preparation. Nowhere can one find more advanced ex hibition ideas than in the cantilevered alu minum cases of the $450,000 Hall of the Bi ology of Man. Dr. Harry L. Shapiro, Chair man of Anthropology, has summarized his field's latest research findings in this unique presentation of man's evolution, structure, and organic functions (pages 236-7). Some 5,000 feet of colored wire accurately trace the tangled human nervous system. Transparent acrylic plastic, etched with the outlines of the circulatory system, simulates blood flow by ingenious edge-lighting. A new plastic-infiltration process preserves a diges tive tract and other human organs. Man's complex machinery takes effort to understand, and Dr. Shapiro did not over simplify it. When the first two sections of the new hall opened, he mingled with the crowd, glancing nervously at his watch. "I've seen visitors stand before one ex hibit for ten minutes," he reported jubilantly. "That means we're teachingthem something!" I share Dr. Shapiro's satisfaction. For if a museum were to be restricted to a single 257 CHROMES BY NATIONAL GEOGRAPHICPHOTOGRAPHERROBERTF. SISSON © N.G.S.