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Picturing the Past

Juried exhibition of Paleoart
How do we have any idea what a living Tyrannosaurus rex looked like? How did an animal no human has ever seen become an instantly recognizable figure in books and movies and on museum walls?
From the beginning of modern paleontology, artists have been inspired to reconstruct the life appearance of extinct plants and animals. Their paleontological art, or paleoart, shapes the core of our vision of the prehistoric world.
We have a mental picture of what extinct animals like T. rex looked like because paleoartists studied the fossils, reconstructed the locations of muscles and masses of flesh, and estimated what sort of skin and colors and behaviors would be realistic to depict. Paleoartists draw upon the work of paleontologists to inspire their art, and their art in turn has inspired generations of young paleontologists.

Today, dozens of artists around the world continue this tradition. Through their study of fossils and anatomy, discussions with paleontologists, and mastery of artistic media, these paleoartists go beyond the bones to bring the fossil record to back to life.

In this exhibition, you will find the largest exhibition of contemporary paleoart assembled in over a decade. A jury of paleontologists, paleoartists and paleoart collectors reviewed more than 300 entries and selected these 85 works for display.

Please enjoy this journey into the past, presented by some of the best paleoartists working today.


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