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Behind the Scenes of A Meticulous Beauty


Tags: A Meticulous Beauty, insects, exhibits, Jennifer Angus, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Created: 2/20/2013      Updated: 8/10/2016

Internationally known artist Jennifer Angus was at the Nature Museum in November to install her exquisite artwork in the south gallery of our second floor. It took three days and several pairs of hands to cover the gallery with insects from Malaysia, Thailand, French Guiana, and Papua New Guinea. I was able to help along with Jennifer’s assistant, a few other staff and a dedicated volunteer. It was neat to see the project unfold before my eyes. My favorite part was hearing the “oohs” and “ahs” as the elevator doors opened and visitors caught their first glimpse of the space.

Prior to her arrival, Jennifer had sent us the specifications for her design. The walls were painted a cool aqua color with yellow polka dots. In order to create the vertical lines in the pattern, she started by setting up a thread grid along the walls.

Thread grid along walls of exhibit.

Using a hammer and special insect pins, we delicately placed each insect along the grid in an alternating pattern. Some insects needed an extra bracing pin to stay in position.

The exhibits team and Jennifer Angus pin insect specimens to the wall

The exhibits team and Jennifer Angus pin insect specimens to the wall

Jennifer’s artwork resulted in a whimsical design of flower-like shapes that draw the eye up and down.

A Meticulous Beauty, finished.

You can learn more about the artist and her intent by visiting the gallery. We are delighted to have this unique installation at the Nature Museum, and we hope you get a chance to see it soon!

Jacqueline Abreo
Exhibits Team

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  • Kelly said (on 2/22/2013 )

    This exhibit is so visually stunning. I have loved walking past it and staring at it. Visitors are always shocked to learn the insects are real. It is absolutely beautiful.

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