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Carl Akeley

Carl Akeley was an inventor, artist and explorer whose methods revolutionized all aspects of the creation of habitat dioramas. Akeley began working for the American Museum of Natural History in 1909; he continued working with the museum until his death.

Akeley was among the first taxidermiests to hang pelts on armature modeled to replicate the musculature, veins and tensions evident in living animals. He also developed and patented techniques for replicating botany using crepe paper and wax. Despite having such patents, he never limited or charged royalties for the use of this technique by other museums or artists. He also invented a motion picture camera for difficult outdoor shots and founded the Akeley Camera Company.

Akeley died of fever in the Belgian Congo during the Museum's Akeley-Eastman-Pomeroy Expedition in 1926 before the habitat dioramas were ever realized under James L. Clark’s direction.


Carl Akeley