The Fossil Records
One of the drivers of me starting this blog was that I was working on a temporary exhibition on the changing scientific and artistic reconstructions of dinosaurs over the last two centuries. I'm delighted that that exhibition, 'Drawing Out The Dinosaurs' is open from tomorrow, Saturday 30th June, at the Lapworth Museum of Geology, on the campus of the University of Birmingham (UoB) in south Birmingham. Entry is free, and the exhibition will run until October 2018. Do come and see it!
The exhibition is co-curated with Dr Will Tattersdill, a lecturer in English Literature at UoB who is interested in the portrayals of dinosaurs in literature and popular culture through time. Will and I trace changes in artistic reconstructions of three exemplar dinosaur species, Megalosaurus, Iguanodon, and Diplodocus, from the 19th century to the present, explain the processes of scientific discovery and artistic restoration, and invite visitors to create their own dinosaur reconstruction. We also have a corner of our small exhibition that focuses on dinosaurs and pop culture, and shows many of the records that have been discussed to date on this blog.
There's lots of people to thank for help in making this happen. These include Jon Clatworthy and Anna Chrystal of the Lapworth Museum, Dr Jordan Kistler, who advised on and helped source the frames and layout for the timeline of the exhibition, Jon Radley and Warwickshire Museum for loaning Early Jurassic dinosaur specimens, my former MSci students Emily Brown and Luke Meade, who did the exhibition graphic design and digitised fossils, respectively, Dr Mark Witton, who created stunning new palaeoart for the exhibition, and the Cadbury Research Library, for loaning us historical books. Also, many thanks to the University of Birmingham for funding through two of its impact funds.
This exhibition is part of a summer of dinosaurs and palaeoart in Birmingham. 'Dippy', the Natural History Museum's famous Diplodocus cast, is currently visiting the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery in the city centre. I will be giving a talk on my research there in early August.
Meanwhile, here at the Lapworth, palaeoartist Robert Nicholls will be an artist-in-residence over the summer, starting in August, and will be sculpting a life-sized Ichthyosaurus model live in the Museum. Once he's finished we're planning to hang it from the ceiling in the Jurassic section of the exhibition.