Museum Dioramas

This is one of things I did for a living for a few years.  This diorama is 1/12 scale.  The subject of it is the Redlands Asistencia.  It was restored back in the early 30s, funded by the WPA.  I did this almost 20 years ago and the man that headed up the restoration was still alive and I got to meet him.  He gave me a photo of himself while the restoration was being done.  He gave me several other photos as well, so I could sculpt him, in the foreground, and the worker in the background on the spinning wheel and the other guy mixing adobe, I sculpted from the photos.  Unfortunately, the gentleman passed away just before I finished the set of 5 dioramas for the San Bernardino County Museum and he never saw them.  

This is just one detail of another diorama from the same set.

This is another part of the same diorama that the horno or, little oven is part of.  This was as close as I could get to showing the Asistencia as is may have appeared when the Spaniards were using it.  This is a strange little anomaly in the history of Spanish Missions.  The object was to keep the Americans and Russians out of the Southwest of what would eventually become the United States.  They managed to complete the chain of mission from Mexico City all the way up the coast to San Francisco.  They also did the same from Mexico City to Santa Fe, New Mexico.  This asistencia  in Redlands was actually the beginnings of an attempt to hook up the two.  This was part of the San Gabriel Mission and was meant to be used as a cattle ranch as they tried to transect the desert from the coast to the New Mexican chain.  But, this was pretty late in the Colonial Period and the Spaniards lost control after Mexican Independence in 1821.  This one was abandoned fairly soon after and the local indigenous people took it over for a while.  I'll stop now...