To see or not to see? That is the question.

In our Birds of Paradise exhibition there is a row of showcases containing dead, stuffed birds (i.e. they have been 'taxidermied'). The glass on the case has been covered by a special coating which causes it to appear ‘misty’, according to some visitors. The coating obscures the specimens unless they are viewed from directly above only.

We used the coating on this display case because several of our audience research studies have found that some visitors are upset when seeing multiple specimens of taxidermied birds or other animals. With this coating on the case, visitors can view just one or two bird specimens at a time.

Students who recently visited the exhibition liked this idea and thought it added a touch of mystery.

What do you think? Leave your comments below and we’ll consider them before deciding whether to leave the cases “misty” or to remove the coating.