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Art Conservation Grad Restores Dioramas for Smithsonian Exhibition

Posted: January 18, 2018

Ariel O’Connor, a 2009 graduate of Buffalo State’s Art Conservation program, was featured in an article in the Washington Post regarding her work on dioramas that compose an exhibition at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. 

O’Connor, who works as an objects conservator for the Smithsonian, spent three months at the office of the chief medical examiner in Baltimore, Maryland, restoring dioramas of crime scenes that were used to train generations of police detectives.

“The location of everything in here is important and could be a clue,” O’Connor told the Post. "The attention to detail is unbelievable. You can see the craftsmanship on such a miniature scale.” 

The exhibition, Murder Is Her Hobby: Frances Glessner Lee and the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death, will be on display through January 28.

Pictured:  Frances Glessner Lee, Living Room (detail), about 1943-48. Collection of the Harvard Medical School, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, courtesy of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Baltimore, MD 

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