Das Seed Magazin hat einen fantastischen Artikel und eine noch fantastischere Bilderstrecke mit Behind the Scenes-Fotografie aus dem American Museum of Natural History. Das da oben sind Dinosaurierknochen aus der Kreidezeit, circa 75-65 Millionen Jahre alt, die immer noch in genau die 100 Jahre alten Zeitungen eingepackt sind, in die sie nach ihrer Ausgrabung eingewickelt wurden, und das hier unten ist ein Schrank voller 100 Jahre alter Elefantenfüße.
“You’ve never been back here?” Kellner asked. The answer was obvious; I was staring like a gob-smacked tourist at the rows of storage cabinets, which loomed overhead like wardrobes for giants. I knew that natural history museums kept fossils and other objects in storage, but I assumed that most of their material was on display, back in the other world. As we walked down long hallways, with drawer after drawer pressing in on either side, I realized how wrong I was. We could look into rooms as we passed, most of them with cabinets and drawers of their own. Kellner reached out to a hallway drawer and opened it. A hip bone from a dinosaur sat inside, knobbed and flared like a Calder sculpture.
It was the first of many journeys I’ve since taken to the other side of museums. Scientists love to show off their collections by pulling drawers open at random, the way Kellner did — exposing me to an army of flies from Peru neatly pinned to slips of paper, or a flock of lyrebirds lying on their backs as if dozing in a collective nap. I’ve gawked at fossil whale feet and jars of tapeworms, at leeches and Mesozoic ferns. But Justine Cooper’s photographs at the American Museum of Natural History take me back to that first shock. They capture the crowded stillness of those halls, the unexpected treasures. The seals in the attic.