The improved lighting, however, also created problems for the original illusions in some of the displays. In the moonlit December snow scene that showcases the wolves running along a Minnesota lakeshore, for example, the energy-efficient lights cast new shadows that disrupted those painted to be cast by the moon. So museum artists had to add new coloring to the snow to mask these new shadows.
"Now they're as beautiful as they day they were installed," MacPhee says. "All of these specimens now look like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt for their particular species. They are beautiful to contemplate. And that's what we want—we want people to have that kind of reaction to wildlife."
View the slide show of the restored exhibits.