Botany Hall

Dioramas in Context

Project Co-Manager, with Colleen O’Reilly, PhD Student, Department of the History of Art and Architecture


In the Winter of 2016, Colleen and I ran into each other at an art opening. We got to chatting about our own research as we gazed at the photographs hanging on the walls, and realized that our interests overlapped in intriguing ways. As an information scientist, I study online exhibitions. I straddle disciplinary lines, engaging with art history and museum studies in addition to my home field. As an art historian, Colleen studies the history of photography and particularly images that are used for pedagogical purposes. Her research occurs at the intersection of art and science.

So, we’re both interested in that liminal space that exists between disciplines, genres, or “types.” Thanks to Colleen’s previous work with staff at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, she knew that Botany Hall presented an ideal venue for conducting research about hybrid objects that are neither scientific objects nor art objects, strictly speaking.


phase 1: beginnings

Spring 2016: When we started working together on this project, Colleen and I articulated and organized our thoughts by writing a mock grant proposal.