We offer a Special Exhibits room that features displays that change on a short-time basis.  Working closely with local groups like DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution), VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars), American Legion, Veteran Suicide & PTSD, etc., we are able to jointly present timely topics of interest to the Museum visitors.  Check out the Events page to see what’s being shown in the Special Exhibits room.

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Dale Wall: Bringing WWI and WWII History to Life in captivating Dioramas

Dioramas have the power to transport us to different worlds, and artist Dale Wall is a master of creating these captivating miniature scenes. Today, we delve into Wall’s meticulous recreation of WWI and WWII scenes.

wwi diorama of warner voss triplane

Breach in the Wire

Dale Wall named this scene “Breach in the Wire”. In these trenches, we can see where the coiled barbed wire runs along and there’s a breach, on the left side that the Americans are trying to stop. German flying ace Warner Voss (pictured below) is in his Fokker Triplane. He flew with the Red Baron in “Richthofen’s Flying Circus” (German: Der Fliegende Zirkus), the first triplanes, so named because of their bright colors. Voss was credited with 48 aerial victories. This was in West Flanders, Belgium, late in the war—1917.

Wall recommends turning on the blue lights of the diorama and, for a moment, turning off the overhead light in the room. “When you do this,” he says, “Everything opens its eyes. All the features and details of a diorama cannot be seen in one sitting. It’s made for people to come back again and again—you will notice new things, I promise.”

Look for the BB (artist’s signature) in the front of this scene.

Inspired by the movie “Ambush Bay”

This scene is a Japanese munitions island that supplies the islands all around. This is the main dump—that’s why the Americans have hit it in this scene. They’re trying to get rid of it to cut off the Japanese supply line. Could be on the Solomons, the Philippines—anywhere in the Pacific.

The inspiration for this scene was the movie “Ambush Bay” starring Mickey Rooney, filmed on location in the Philippines.

The airplane is an FU-4 Corsair. In the truck are barrels the Japanese used to try to hide their munitions; they put them in these stock barrels. This truck is taking these to the lagoon for other troops to pick up. On the truck are Japanese soldiers, but an American soldier has jumped onto the back. Japanese soldiers are all over, in hiding. The jungle is thick. The Japanese flag is on top of the hill.

The large building on the right is a barracks; the smaller building on the left is officers’ quarters. We can see an officer standing on the steps.

The trunks of the palms in the diorama are made of limbs from Norfolk Island Pine trees from St. Augustine, Florida. The trenches are made of bark from Red Oak trees.

wwii Diorama

WWII  P-47 Fighter plane attacking German Tiger Tanks

Dioramas like Wall’s WWII  P-47 Fighter plane attacking German Tiger Tanks serve multiple purposes. They educate viewers about a specific historical event or location in a way that static images or text descriptions simply cannot. The three-dimensionality and intricate details create a sense of immersion, allowing viewers to feel transported back in time.

Wall’s diorama also serves as a testament to the meticulous craftsmanship and artistic vision required to bring history to life in miniatures. It’s a reminder that even the smallest details can tell a powerful story.

Special Exhibit

This gallery has temporary displays that change frequently, often with the support and contributions of organizations such as the DAR, VFW, American Legion, Honor Flight, etc. Past exhibits include Women in WWI, Constitution Week displays, POW/MIA table, helping veterans in fighting PTSD, uniforms of the military academies, and WWII aces – both German and American. New exhibits are in the process of being planned and constructed.

special exhibit of uniforms
poa table
life magazines
monroe wilson