SEPTEMBER, 2017: Here are the latest updates to BoxDioramas.com, with a bounty of work featured at Chicago World Expo 2017, as well new additions from fans of the site. First up, and pardon the lack of modesty, but we start with the latest work from the editors of this site. My latest box, “The Whole World Is Watching: Chicago 1968,” was shown at Expo, and the locale of the show inspired the theme; it’s posted here along with an article on the history and a step-by-step look at the construction. Co-editor Barry Biediger also had a new box called “The Other Window” at the big show; it’s a typically mysterious and wonderfully enigmatic piece. Sadly, our third partner, Darryl Audette, could not make it to Expo, but we have updated his gallery page with his latest project, a museum piece entitled “More Comradery at 25,000 Feet: Normandy, 1944.” Darryl also contributed an article about its construction posted here.
Also seen at Expo: Box diorama veteran Dave Browne had a stunning new piece called “The Show Will Go On,” which has been added to his gallery page; World Master Greg DiFranco had a new “natural light box” called “Alexander at Issus”; Doug Cohen tried his hand at a box depicting Francis Scott Key witnessing the assault on Fort McHenry; “Dawn of Independence” by Dennis Levy and Anders Heintz was on display (they’re collaborated on the piece to benefit the World Expo Auction last October); MMSI member Herb Metzler brought a really cool box display of vintage paper soldier figures; Nick Infield continued to merge his Hollywood day job with his passionate hobby of building fantastic box dioramas with a new piece called “Norman Wouldn’t Hurt a Fly,” in addition to displaying last year’s Perspex box, “He Swims Among Us”; John Schley traveled from Ireland to display two of the boxes featured on his gallery page, and our pal from New York, Michael Scarborough, brought his usual enthusiasm for the art form and his exquisite new box diorama “Moonlight Raid”; that piece has been added to his gallery page, along with some notes and additional step-by-step views here. We also have some photos of the box fun at Expo on the News page below, which can be found here.
As always, the site welcomes submissions from modelers; email firstname.lastname@example.org. Work that has come in over recent months includes some great mixed-media/fine art contributions from Cynthia Parsons McDaniel; Anthony Tedesco, a modeler from Rome who has been showing his boxes throughout Italy for the last few years—his gallery is a welcome addition to the site—and Canadian modeler John Ballard, who now has a gallery page depicting his first box diorama showing paratroopers from the 101st in Normandy, with a link to a great step-by-step article on the construction. Also posted on the Feature Articles page: an excellent piece about miniaturist Ali Alamedy, an Iraqi refugee.
In addition to the new articles listed above, we’ve added a bounty of older/vintage articles to the Feature Articles page, including “John Paul Jones: An Exciting New Diorama Built, Photographed and Described by Ray Anderson” (Military Modelling, May 1975); “The Loyal Toast: Reginald Franklin describes an historical diorama; the artistic approach to military miniature presentation” (Military Modelling, December 1974); “Stable Duty” by Chris Leason (Model Soldier magazine); “The Virginia Raids: Mike Williams Constructs Two Dioramas from the American War of Independence” (Model Soldier magazine); “Box Dioramas! Peter Hills describes a novel and fascinating method of displaying and protecting figure models in all scales” (Military Modelling, July 1972), and “Cigar Box Dioramas: A How to Do It Handbook” by Arminta Neal (1958). Thanks to my MMSI pal Mike Holverson for the many article finds, and to Joe Berton for unearthing the extraordinary “Cigar Box Dioramas” booklet on one of his many foraging trips to the used bookstores.
Speaking of Joe, his wife and our good friend Gloria Groom, curator of European art at the Art Institute of Chicago, hipped us to a cool exhibit on dioramas at Palais de Tokyo in Paris that opened on June 14 and ran until September 10. We have some photos and a lot of links to read more on the Links Page. In addition to her gallery page linked above, Cynthia Parson McDaniel contributed a fascinating interview with Tom Doncourt, exhibition specialist at the storied American Museum of Natural History in New York City, about the famous dioramas at that storied institution. And finally, we’ve posted an article from the last issue of the MMSI’s journal The Scabbard about the dioramas and other exhibits of interest at the Milwaukee Public Museum.
Enjoy, and thanks as always for spreading the word about this site!
Photos at Chicago World Model Expo 2017 by Penny Meyer. From Left: Joel Glass introduces the box diorama panel hosted by Nick Infield and Dennis Levy; Nick is interviewed for a local Chicago television station, and Dennis holds forth.
Two of this site's three editors at the box diorama tables of Chicago World Expo 2017. Expo co-founder and box diorama master Shep Paine would have been very proud indeed. (Photos by Pat Vess)
A stunning piece called "Homage" by the great Fletcher Clement, who really needs to do more boxes! This is not one, but it is an incredible tribute to his friends and inspirations in the hobby, which is why it earns a nod here. Below, godfather of us all, the late Shep Paine, passes the torch to Bill Horan at left, while at right, and it makes me blush to say this, editor Jim DeRo in (what else!?) a box.