The Evolution of Dinosaurs in Art


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About the Book

Other than seeing them in popular movies such as Jurassic Park, how do people today know what dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals looked like? Only their fossils remain, but thanks to paleoartists most people have a good idea of what these creatures looked like. The world of paleoart and its artists are the subject of this richly illustrated work. It explores themes in the depiction of dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals, paleoart’s history and speculative nature and its effect on scientists’ impressions of prehistoric animals. Also explored are such topics as the careers of several paleoartists, including Georges Cuvier, Gideon Mantell, John Martin, Neave Parker, Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins and Charles R. Knight, the depiction of scientific ideas about dinosaurs and prehistoric animals on canvas and in sculpture, the purpose and process of restoring them in museums, the significance of certain restorations and images, and the development of paleoart in America.

About the Author(s)

Allen A. Debus, a retired environmental chemist, has long been infatuated with dinosaurs, paleontology, science fiction, Godzilla and King Kong. He has written several books addressing prehistoric creatures—both real and fictional—in popular culture, and attends Chicagoland’s Wizard World and G-Fest. He is a member of the G-Fan Hall of Fame and lives in Hanover Park, Illinois.

Writer Diane E. Debus coauthors articles with her husband Allen A. Debus. She lives in Hanover Park, Illinois.

Bibliographic Details

Allen A. Debus and Diane E. Debus

Foreword by Donald F. Glut

Format: softcover (8.5 x 11)
Pages: 293
Bibliographic Info: 126 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2011 [2002]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6420-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Foreword     1
Preface     3

1 Dinosaurs and Evolution—Conflated Imagery     7
2 Kronosaurus—An Imaginary Sea Monster That Got Away     13
3 Grandmasters of the Paleoartists’ Hall of Fame     20
4 John Martin and the Element of Paleoart Fantasy     28
5 Henry Ward’s Last Great Siberian Mammoth     32
6 Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins—A Modern Pygmalion     42
7 A Mythic Place in Time-Spirit in the Knight     48
8 Paleoart—Search Image and Theory     52
9 Verne’s Paleontological Journey     60
10 Time for Dinosaurs     67
11 Plated Puzzle     73
12 America’s Paleoart Reformation     83
13 A Tertiary Primer     97
14 Othenio Abel—Artistic Founder of Paleobiology     102
15 Zdenek Burian’s Global Visions of Prehistory     105
16 The Ages of Zallinger     108
17 Neave Parker’s Prehistoric World     111
18 Acanthopholis—a “Twilight Zone” Dinosaur     115
19 Bully for Laelaps     120
20 Tickled by Feathers     126
21 Inside-Out Mastodon     135
22 Louis Paul Jonas’ Prehistoric Sculpturdermy     142
23 Speculative Paleontology—Lessons in Reverse Paleontology     147
24 Portraying Paleocatastrophe     152
25 Tyrant Queen—Icon-o-saurus Rex     157
26 The Great Dinosaur Race-Wisconsin’s Dinosaurs     164
27 Illuminating Fossils from the Dark Continent     172
28 Hypsilophodon—a “Super” Dinosaur     180
29 High Stakes Dinosaur—Las Vegas’ Robotosaurs     185
30 Ernie’s Paleozoo     190
31 Building Life-Sized Dinosaurs     193
32 Those Incredible Shrinking Dinosaurs     208
33 Joined at the Hip?     212
34 The Big Sho`     217
35 THUNDER in Their Footsteps     226
36 Renaissance Dinosaurs     234

Notes     243
Bibliography     275
Index     283

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “entertaining…invaluable…unprecedented…simultaneously educates and delights, goals felicitously achieved here…a wealth of illustrations”—Booklist
  • “nicely illustrated…a beautiful hardcover book packed with historic illustration”—Prehistoric Times
  • “a veritable tour de force of dinosaur imagery…in depth…refreshing…excellent…exhilarating”—Dino Land
  • “valuable”—The Canadian Field-Naturalist
  • “if you are interested in the history of dinosaurs in popular culture, Debus is an author you simply cannot ignore…Debus does a huge service to those who work in the history of science”—H-Net Reviews