Saturday, 30 April 2022

Introducing The Art and Science of the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs: out next month!

Behold, the cover of The Art and Science of the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs, available for preorder now, and on general sale next month!

Next month sees the publication of what might be one of the more important projects I’ve ever been involved with: a new book, The Art and Science of the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs, co-authored with Ellinor Michel and published by Crowood Press. This is a large, richly illustrated hardback that, as the title suggests, discusses the creation, scientific content, artistry and historic legacy of the world-famous Crystal Palace Dinosaurs, a story we tell in lots of detail and with hundreds of photos, illustrations and diagrams, both vintage and modern.

The good news is that, as of a few days ago, the book became officially available for preorders so palaeoart and history of science aficionados can start bagging copies for delivery next month. The exact publication date has been hard to pin down because of the many global incidents disrupting shipping and transportation, but mid-May is looking like the point when it will be available. You’ll be able to pick it up from just about wherever books are sold, but, with apologies to North American readers, you’re going to have to wait a bit longer for your release as you’re on a different distribution network to us here in the UK (that’s not to say you can’t order it from Europe and have it shipped over to you, of course). The cover price is £30 and, as we’ll detail more below, every sale directly contributes towards the care and maintenance of the Dinosaurs themselves.

With preorders now being taken, we can finally start to talk about our book more openly. The Crystal Palace Dinosaurs can be described, without exaggeration, as some of the most famous pieces of palaeoart in the world and they are true mainstays of dinosaur books and documentaries. They encompass a series of Victorian prehistoric animal sculptures and recreated geological features based in Penge, in the southeastern suburbs of London. The most famous components of the site are the prehistoric animal models, which were built between 1852 and 1855 by their chief architect and artist, Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins, ostensibly under the watchful eye of Victorian palaeontological mastermind Richard Owen. Much of the original site is still with us today and can be visited freely if you want a glimpse of what cutting-edge palaeontology looked like in the early 1850s. Of the 30 sculptures still standing, the four dinosaurs, representing Iguanodon, Megalosaurus and Hylaeosaurus, are genuine icons of 19th century palaeoart, and a large amount of effort has been exerted over the years to keep the site in fair condition (though read on).

The face that launched this particular ship: the broken Crystal Palace Megalosaurus, as photographed by the Friends of Crystal Palace Dinosaurs in May 2020. As this image shows, the conservation risk to the site is very real and a sense of wanting to do something to help is what got this book rolling.

The origins of our book give a pretty good idea of our aims and hopes for this project. In May 2020 the jaws of the Crystal Palace Megalosaurus were severely damaged in a mysterious incident: the cause is assumed to be final succumbence to weathering or simply vandalism, or a combination thereof. Both, sadly, are common agents of deterioration at the site. The photos of the damaged sculpture shared online were pretty disheartening and, having been working with the Friends of Crystal Palace Dinosaurs to augment their website (you may remember a series of blogposts I wrote related to this project from 2019: part 1, 2, 3 and 4), I wondered if turning my notes and illustrations into a book that we could sell to benefit the sculptures was a good idea. I floated this to Ellinor, who's chair of the Friends of Crystal Palace Dinosaurs, and we then approached Crowood, who you may know from my Palaeoartist’s Handbook and Emily Willoughby’s Drawing and Painting Dinosaurs, to make the project a reality. The pitch was to analyse the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs as an enormous palaeoart project where we looked at their conceptualisation, construction and legacy in context with 19th century palaeontology and palaeoartistry while also, in addition, creating a book that would directly benefit the Dinosaurs themselves. To that end, neither Ellinor nor I have received a penny for producing it: all the usual advances and royalties that go to book authors are instead being donated to the Friends of Crystal Palace Dinosaurs to further their efforts in understanding and maintaining the Dinosaurs and their home.

We finished writing the book in August 2021 and, I must admit, it was a lot more work than I initially anticipated. This not only reflected the complications of writing a book during Covid-induced national lockdowns but also the volume of material to discuss. Ellinor and I are far from the first scholars to write about the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs, with notable contributions to the literature having been made by Martin Rudwick (1992), Peter Doyle (Doyle and Robinson 1993, 1995; Doyle 2008), Jim Secord (2004), Gowan Dawson (2016), Valerie Bramell and Bob Peck (2008), and Steve McCarthy and Mick Gilbert (1994). Our palaeoart-focus, aided by the modern searchability of digital archives, meant we were able to unearth a lot of obscure details about the Dinosaurs not mentioned elsewhere. My initial thoughts that this would be a quick and straightforward project — perhaps not much more than expanding and stapling my blog series together and writing a few discussion chapters — quickly evaporated when the amount of information to sift through and analyse became apparent. The book ballooned by 20,000 words from my initial projection and it was still a squeeze to get everything in. My somewhat immodest view is that we’ve compiled a new, richer synthesis about the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs through both our own findings as well as coalescing important points raised by other recent authors into our text; in doing so, we’re helping to establish a deeper narrative about this familiar, but still only partially understood site.

A sneak peek at one of the early chapters of the book, focusing on the 1853 New Year's Eve banquet held inside the clay mould of the standing Iguanodon.

Wrangling the story of the Crystal Palace into some sort of order created a book of three parts and 13 chapters:

Part 1. Islands covered by strange figures

1. Historic prehistory in South London

2. Ancient worlds through a Victorian lens: planning the Geological Court

3. Bricks, iron and tiles: rebuilding the past

Part 2. Animals long since extinct

4. The sculptures: Mammals

5. The sculptures: Mosasaurus hoffmanni

6. The sculptures: Flying reptiles

7. The sculptures: Dinosaurs

8. The sculptures: “Teleosaurus chapmani

9. The sculptures: Enaliosaurs

10. The sculptures: “Labyrinthodon

11. The sculptures: Dicynodon

Part 3. A difficult and, perhaps, too bold, attempt

12. The reception and legacy of the Geological Court

13. Past becomes future: the conservation of the Geological Court

You can gauge a lot about the book from that chapter list but, to get a superior sense of what we cover, let’s go into a little more detail.

Part 1. Islands covered by strange figures

The first section serves as an introduction to the world of the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs by discussing the principles and individuals behind their construction as well as the building of the site itself. Very quickly within the narrative, we establish that the label “Crystal Palace Dinosaurs” is not always useful or apt because it omits the major structures that accompanied Hawkins’ palaeontological sculptures: the Geological Illustrations. These are a series of reconstructed geological outcrops that extend around the Dinosaurs' landscape, being created either by importing tonnes of rocks chosen for their age and fossil content from sites around the UK or, alternatively, by recreating complex sedimentary strata using building materials. These rocks were not distributed haphazardly around the park, either, but in realistic stratigraphic congruence: in other words, they are in proper geochronological order, such that Triassic rocks are next to Jurassic rocks, which are then next to Cretaceous rocks, which are then next to "Tertiary" rocks and so on, and the palaeontological sculptures were placed around these in an appropriate geological context. The almost uninterrupted sequence (there are deliberately no Permian rocks) allows visitors to walk continuously from the Devonian to the Quaternary, seeing signature rock types and fossil species along the way.

Our map summarising the full extent, both planned and actual, of the Geological Court. Note the complexity of the geology as well as large numbers of missing models, denoted by red graphics and text, and the extent of never-realised models on the Tertiary Island.

Mapping the strata as real geological features reveals a very sophisticated and complex arrangement of manufactured geology, even incorporating simulated unconformities (missing rock layers, which account for the absence of Permian features) and faults to condense much of the geological column, as it was known in the 1850s, into a small area (Doyle and Robinson 1993). The economic importance of geology to Victorian culture was highlighted with not only a partly artificial coal seam (real coal, partially fake rocks) but a motherflippin’ artificial mine and cave, some 20 m long, within which manufactured stalactites and floatstones, along with mining tools, gave visitors the experience of traversing a real lead mine. The unsung heroes of this forgotten aspect of the park were geologists David Thomas Ansted and James Campell, and we suggest that they need as much recognition as Hawkins or Owen for their contributions to this project. Reflecting this, we mostly refer to the “Geological Court” instead of “Crystal Palace Dinosaurs” throughout the text. This was the name originally given to Crystal Palace’s combined geological and palaeontological display and better encapsulates the full extent of the project. The Geological Illustrations receive a lot of attention in our book, for which we need to tip our hat to Peter Doyle for laying critical interpretive groundwork that we could build on (Doyle and Robinson 1993, 1995; Doyle 2008).

Today located far away from public footpaths is the Carboniferous Mountain Limestone, which contains an artificial cave and lead mine. This is one of the most complex of all the Geological Illustrations and it's also huge: the original Mountain Limestone "outcrop" represented 90 tonnes of real Carboniferous limestone imported from Matlock, in the UK Midlands. This was removed in the mid-20th century so the Mountain Limestone you see now (including in this photo) is a reconstruction from the early 2000s. The cave is original, but is now half-filled with sediment and inaccessible to the public.

Our opening chapters also offer a deep dive into the construction of the models themselves, both in terms of the palaeoartistic principles employed by Hawkins as well as the physical building process. We speak a lot about the importance of 19th century “anatomical correlation” in predicting the life appearance of fossil animals from scrappy bones (Dawson 2016) and analysed photographs and illustrations of the models under construction — some familiar, others less so — to obtain new details of how these often gigantic creations* were assembled. It seems there was no one method behind their realisation, but a mix of techniques that probably depended on practical considerations as well as the availability and cost of materials. The Megatherium was unqiuely carved from blocks of limestone (Doyle 2008) while most of the models were composites of bricks, concrete and metal that could be moved about the site on carts and trollies. The dinosaurs were constructed more like houses, adding bricks, mortar and concrete around deep foundations and enormous iron frameworks (Hawkins 1854). The construction of the Court took place under the eager eyes of international media, and we also use these early chapters to review this interest in the Geological Court. Part of this discussion focuses on the famous 1853 New Year’s Eve banquet in one of the clay Iguanodon moulds. This event has been retold so often that a certain amount of truth has leaked from the original story but, using newspaper accounts and archive material, we think we’ve managed to tidy up what truly happened and answer obvious questions, such as how several dozen people squeezed into a very large, but not enormous dinosaur belly (spoilers: there was an adjoining table, so not everyone sat within the Iguanodon itself. See this Twitter thread if you’d like to know more).

*And I do mean “gigantic”: the Megalosaurus is 12 m long and the Iguanodon and Temnodontosaurus are not much smaller. Photos don’t convey how seriously big some of these sculptures are, and another novelty of our book is providing basic measurements of each one, an obvious aspect to report but, to our knowledge, unrecorded until now. My boots are still drying out from wading through the waters surrounding the marine reptiles.

Part 2. Animals long since extinct

The middle of the book is a sculpture-by-sculpture analysis of the palaeontological creations, comprising the mammals, the various marine reptiles, the pterosaurs, dinosaurs, amphibians and Dicynodon. This is the longest section of the book and perhaps the main draw for palaeoart fans. Alas, we still don’t have much insight into Hawkins’ original plans for his sculptures — no relevant notebooks, sketches or correspondence to this effect are known anywhere — but efforts were made to “reverse engineer” the palaeoartistry of each model by comparing what Hawkins produced against palaeontological science of the 1850s. This was similar to the approach I used in my Crystal Palace Dinosaurs blog posts but we go way beyond the details discussed in those articles. Each sculpture is given a photographic montage to show features of interest as well as a diagram showing what fossil specimens or modern animals likely referenced each body part.

An example of the breakdowns given to each restored species at Crystal Palace: what fossils were available to inform Hawkins' restorations? Here, we see how the Iguanodon is really a hodgepodge of different iguanodont material, and not a reconstruction of a single species.

Analysing the sculptures at this level allowed us to break down their “real” identities, and we can see today that many were chimeric mixes of different species. "Labyrinthodon pachygnathus", for instance, can be considered an early attempt at reconstructing the (possible) ctenosauriscid (those neat sail-backed croc-line archosaurs) Bromsgrovia rather than a prehistoric amphibian, and the known reference specimens for Iguanodon do not include any “true” Iguanodon material in the sense that we recognise it now. It’s actually difficult to know what to classify the Iguanodon as in a modern sense, as at least two, and maybe three iguanodont species were factored into its restored form. If we force the issue, Barilium dawsoni, a large iguanodont that was used to establish the size of the Iguanodon sculptures and other components of its anatomy, is perhaps the most dominant species used in the build, so maybe that’s the closest we have to the “true” identity of these sculptures.

Assessing the fossil composition of Hawkins' recreations allowed us to ally species to the Crystal Palace project that are not normally associated with it. They include the possible ctenosauriscid Bromsgrovia walkeri, which is too poorly known to restore itself, but might have resembled Arizonasaurus babbitti. This is a nice reminder that the British fossil record contains a lot of remarkable animals, even if some of their fossils are less than exemplary.

We also compare each species with modern interpretations of the same taxa, and I used these sections as an excuse to sneak in some of my own artwork to show 21st views of the Crystal Palace species. These are all-new restorations rather than recycled images from my 2019 blog posts, and some feature fun callbacks to classic Hawkins imagery. It’s easy to be a little blasé about some of the Crystal Palace taxa because many are well-trodden palaeoart subjects, like Megalosaurus, Megaloceros, Iguanodon etc., but the reality of some of the animals restored for the Geological Court is pretty wild. Leptonectes, for instance, with its grumpy face and massive pectoral fins, is definitely an unusual ichthyosaur, while Cimoliopterus — the animal behind the Chalk pterosaurs — belongs to the long-winged, giant-headed pterosaur group Ornithocheiromorpha. Among everything else, this book was a nice opportunity to draw attention to some lesser-known British fossils that, owing to being poorly preserved, are often overlooked.

I created something like 30 new paintings for The Art and Science of the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs, including this image of the uppermost Triassic ichthyosaur Leptonectes tenuirostris. This reality of this frowny-faced, giant-flippered ichthyosaur is quite different to what was restored at Crystal Palace, where it looks a lot more conventional.

Looking at the sculptures in such detail allowed us to write at length about how excellently executed they are, from their depicted musculature and fine anatomical detailing to their considered behavioural depictions. Hawkins was really ahead of his time by creating palaeoart that showed plausible, realistic-looking animals rather than, as was then common, either super-conservative reconstructions with minimal detailing or, more commonly, fantastic restorations that have more in common with mythology than zoology. Interestingly, we did find evidence that Hawkins considered more aggressive and dynamic posing for at least some of his models before settling on their more sedate poses.

We also compared Hawkins' work to Owen’s publications to gauge how closely Hawkins was working with his consultant. The large number of deviations we found is, we argue, further evidence of Owen being a pretty useless consultant. Owen's contributions to the project have been enormously overstated, with records showing that he neglected to visit the construction site or Hawkins' workshed outside of a handful of instances, and that was also largely ignorant of the appearance of the sculptures until he saw them completed and installed in the park grounds (Secord 2004; Dawson 2016). That Hawkins made some errors Owen could have corrected is entirely consistent with this narrative. Owen also loses points in our dissection of his 1854 Geological Court guidebook, which is often inconsistent with the content of the site itself. Indeed, Owen’s slim overview of the site didn't mention major components of the display, including the bulk of the Geological Illustrations and mammal sculptures. Owen doesn’t quite warrant writing out of the history of the Geological Court, but he definitely needs recasting as a peripheral character who did little to help Hawkins and the Crystal Palace Company accomplish their goals.

The missing paleontological sculptures of Crystal Palace: two pterosaurs, three "Anoplotherium gracile", one Palaeotherium magnum and one female Megaloceros (red arrow). Note the different face on "Palaeotherium minus" and the real antlers on Megaloceros; both have since been replaced with substitutes that no longer resemble the originals. The photographs in this image were kindly provided by the Crystal Palace Foundation.

The final, and perhaps most significant, component of these chapters I want to mention is their discussions of missing models. Exactly how many models and the number of different species they represent has been variably interpreted (e.g. Doyle and Robinson 1993; McCarthy and Gilbert 1994) because of the complex and tumultuous history of certain sculptures. Some have been moved about, mislabelled or even been removed from the site over the last 170 years, leaving researchers to draw different conclusions about what’s left in the park today, and what was there originally. We attempted to get definitive numbers on both counts and concluded that our modern Geological Court holds 30 sculptures of 21 species. In 1855 however, when the Court was at its most complete, it had 37 sculptures and 24 species. That’s a higher count than any previous calculation, but one we’re confident about thanks to data from historic guidebooks, illustrations and photographs. The seven lost models include a fourth Megaloceros (specifically, another model of a reclined doe), the two Jurassic pterosaurs, the large Palaeotherium species P. magnum and, finally, three models of “Anoplotherium gracile”.

The "Megaloceros fawn", which we reidentify as a different animal entirely: "Anoplotherium gracile" or, in modern terminology, Xiphodon gracilis. As explored more below, there is no evidence that this animal represents a juvenile Megaloceros but plenty of evidence to tie it to Xiphodon. How and why this sculpture became associated with the Giant Deer display is not currently understood.

The existence of the latter three sculptures is worth going into a little more because it’s one of our biggest discoveries and ties into another important conclusion. If you’ve visited the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs you’ll know that a small Megaloceros fawn sits close to the three surviving Giant Deer adults in the Quaternary end of the Court. We present evidence that this, in fact, is not a juvenile deer at all, but the sole survivor of a group of four “Anoplotherium gracile”. Known as Xiphodon gracilis today, the presence of this guanaco-like Eocene species among the Crystal Palace fauna has long confused researchers because, despite being mentioned in several guidebooks, it was thought that no obviously Xiphodon-like animals were known at the site, nor were any witnessed in familiar vintage photos or illustrations. Some authors have attempted to reconcile these facts with a more gracile Anoplotherium commune sculpture, assuming that this represented Xiphodon (Doyle and Robinson 1993; McCarthy and Gilbert 1994), but I’ve never found this interpretation convincing. Even in the 1850s scholars knew that A. commune and Xiphodon contrasted in size, build and proportions. The “fawn”, however, is a dead-ringer for historic takes on Xiphodon anatomy, and an image of Hawkins’ workshed shows this same sculpture with three others of the same species (above). Conversely, we found no evidence whatsoever of a Megaloceros fawn existing at the site before modern times. Putting these pieces together, it looks like the blank spots in the history of the displays are large enough to both obscure the loss of three Xiphodon sculptures and also hide the relocation of the surviving Xiphodon alongside the Giant Deer, where it has masqueraded as a juvenile Megaloceros for the entirety of living memory. I admit to finding this as worrying as I do exciting. Discovering not just one Xiphodon but records of four is very cool, but it also shows how enormous the holes in our knowledge of the Geological Court are. If something as fundamental as the existence of a whole set of sculptures can go virtually unrecorded, what else are we missing?

Part 3. A difficult and, perhaps, too bold, attempt

The last section contains two chapters, one on the complex legacy of the Geological Court and another on its constant battles with degradation. The chapter on the post-development history of the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs is one of the largest in the book and attempts to make sense of a complicated story. It’s fair to say that they were neither the major successes nor major failures they have been portrayed as by different authors, and reactions to the Geological Court have fluctuated enormously in the last 170 years. Early scientific views, for example, were very hostile. Hawkins’ rapidly-dating sculptures vindicated palaeoart sceptics who saw full, elaborate restorations of extinct life as premature and, as has been noted by others (Secord 2004; Nieuwland 2019), the Geological Court seems to have lessened appetites for palaeoart among many, perhaps most, 19th century palaeontologists. It took decades for more sympathetic views to develop among academics (e.g. Hutchinson 1893; Becker 1911) and for palaeoart to regain its early 19th century mojo. Among the public, the Geological Court was a source of equal parts fascination and confusion, as the displays — which lacked any sort of signage or explanation, as per Crystal Palace Company policy — represented content too far from general knowledge for lay audiences to grasp their significance. Some gathered that they were looking at animals that existed before humans (Martineau 1854), but others thought they were grossly-distorted sculptures of living species, or even attempts to show the dangers of intoxication (Owen 1894). As well as cataloguing this diversity of opinion, we also cover the cancellation of the Geological Court’s development, the unrealised models and geological components (in addition to at least a dozen more mammals and birds, planned works included additional Cambrian, Silurian and “Tertiary” Geological Illustrations), vintage Crystal Palace Dinosaur merchandise, and the career impacts of the project for Hawkins and Owen.

A selection of dinosaur palaeoartworks produced after Crystal Palace. It took several decades for scientists to start regularly commissioning artwork of new fossil animals, allowing Hawkinsian dinosaurs to linger in paleoartworks until the late 19th century, as in the lower right images. Novel reconstructions of upright dinosaurs were produced as early as the 1860s (top images), but were rare until palaeoart got its mojo back in the 1890s. Was the scientific backlash against the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs responsible for this dearth of new artworks? There is certainly circumstantial evidence supporting this view.

All this leads to our final chapter, the inevitably stern-faced discussion of the site’s ongoing conservation and maintenance issues. It would have been nice to end the book on a more positive note but it would have been misleading to portray anything other than the truth: that our collective efforts to keep the Geological Court in good condition have not been exemplar and, unless this changes, the long-term outlook for the site isn’t great. We review the patchy conservation history of the site and highlight that no consistent approach to maintenance has ever been followed: repair work has really been a series of occasional interventions, not a routine, regular event. Even more amazingly, outright destruction of some components were justified in the mid-20th century to make way for other Park developments. We can’t be sure, but we think these events were likely responsible for the removal or destruction of the missing palaeontological sculptures. These issues have persisted to modern times and it's a sad fact that the current appearance of the site we're attempting to celebrate is rather sorry. We often had to source photos from the last decade to illustrate the displays in a more intact, less overgrown condition.

A shot from my last visit to the Geological Court in July 2021, showing the extent of overgrowth and degradation among some of the marine reptiles. To give a sense of the scale of the vegetation in this photo, that middle ichthyosaur is one of the largest models at the site: the c. 12 m long Temnodontosaurus. The broken jaw of Ichthyosaurus communis, which you can see in the background, was a recent incident which has now been fixed. Needless to say, allowing the displays to get to this state is pretty criminal, and without a significant, long-term change to maintenance and conservation approaches, we risk losing the site forever.

Thankfully, the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs are now protected against further wanton development by having attained Grade 1 listed status. This recognises the Geological Court as having exceptional historic interest and brings a level of care and protection from Historic England, the public body that manages places of national importance to English heritage. Much is hoped from this relatively recent development and projects to save the site are underway, but we shouldn’t pretend there isn’t a lot of work to do. Behind the visibly crumbling displays are problems as fundamental as subsidence and complex internal damage caused by degradation of their metal frameworks. In addition to dramatic interventions to solve these problems, a regular management strategy to keep on top of perpetual conservation risks is also critical. Without interventions to halt plant growth on the displays and deter human trespassers, the Dinosaurs and Geological Illustrations will quickly fall back into disrepair. Ensuring that the Geological Court endures for another 170 years will not be easy or cheap, and requires a broad shift in how we value the site as a nation. Today, we’re perhaps at a critical point for deciding its future. If we don’t invest our energy and money now, we may be among the last generations to witness something approximating its original grandeur.

TL,DR: buy our book; learn cool things; save some dinosaurs.

And that, in a several thousand-word nutshell, is our book. But this post is really just a teaser of what we have to say: there is so much more to discuss around the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs that we struggled to get everything into this one tome. But for all this, there’s still plenty that we couldn’t write about, because there are enduring mysteries that we were unable to crack. What, for example, are the mysterious Wisbech Museum models of the Crystal Palace species? Do we really not have a single record for what happened to all those palaeontological sculptures, not even in some council development office somewhere? Why were so many models repaired with unsuitable replacement parts at some point in the 20th century? Will anyone, ever, find some of the original designs for the Geological Illustrations or extinct animal restorations? These, and other questions, are for future researchers to look into. For now, we’re happy to have moved the conversation along as far as we have, and to once again be shining the light on the conservation plight of a site unique in its significance to the history of science. We’re especially happy because all this will simultaneously help fund the Friends of Crystal Palace Dinosaurs and their work monitoring and maintaining the Geological Court. Check out The Art and Science of the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs if you want to appreciate the full awesomeness of this very special place.

And finally…

As a quick closing comment, I want to extend a quick personal thanks to a group of people who made this book possible: the folks who support my work at Patreon. Researching, writing and illustrating a book is a huge amount of work and the only way I could commit so much time to a charity project like this was through their monthly donations. So sincere thanks to everyone who supports me there: any positive impact this book has is, in part, related to your continued donations.


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  • Nieuwland, I. (2019). American Dinosaur Abroad: A Cultural History of Carnegie's Plaster Diplodocus. University of Pittsburgh Press.
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  • Rudwick, M. J. (1992). Scenes from deep time: early pictorial representations of the prehistoric world. University of Chicago Press.
  • Secord, J. A. (2004). Monsters at the crystal palace. In: de Chadarevian, S, & Hopwood, N. (eds). Models: the third dimension of science. Stanford University Press. 138-69 pp.

1 comment:

  1. Before i started reading your blog i was vaguely aware of the Crystal Palace park statues, i had seen the iguanadons and megalasaurus on the making of walking with dinosaurs, back in the early 2000s when they were in a better state of repair and with a brand new coat of Brunswick green. Thanks for bringing to light part of the story of the park, it is facinating and it is a shame they are in disrepair these days. I personally agree that outdated paleoart recreations should be celebrated, not ridiculed for 'what we got wrong', but as a milestone along the path to what we know now. I think the park should be cherished as a treasure, a window into the cutting edge of science and art at the dawn of the age of palentology.