Abigail Goldman, Mommy Knows Best, 2017. Assorted plastics and acrylic paint, 4.5 x 3 in. From “Through That Which Is Seen.”

“Through That Which Is Seen”

Palo Alto, California

Palo Alto Art Center

The literal meaning of the word “diorama”– through that which is seen–served as the title for this exhibition of sculptures and installations by more than a dozen artists. The idea of the diorama explored in the show–as a model, whether miniature or life-size, of anything from a historical event to a species habitat–dates back to the 19th century. In its infancy, it functioned as a kind of pre-cinematic entertainment spectacle, before evolving into a nature/culture educational tool. Many kinds of museums have used dioramas, sometimes as vehicles better suited to propaganda than fact….see the entire review in the print version of July/August’s Sculpture magazine.