It’s taking shape! (here’s the latest corrected version) We have been working together with Alanna Magovern and Nick Regester from Silver Plume Exhibitions (an offspring of the Stone and Company illustrious clan) in Dinosaurs Take Flight a paleoart tribute to the (possibly) most important fossil in the history of Darwinian Evolutionary Theory: Archaeopteryx. Silver Plume Exhibitions, is also the production team behind the acclaimed traveling exhibition Hatching the Past, and have teamed up with the design and scientific minds from the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History to bring this unique exhibition to (for starters) some relevant venues in the US.It will have a grand opening in just a few months time. Paleaortists involved include no other than William Stout, Julius Csotonyi, Mark Hallett and Dennis Wilson and Gary Staab will take care of the 3D section… the in-depth approach to the personalities of the artists’ artwork will be shared with, among other things, interactive displays and casts of ALL the Archaeopteryx fossils together My involvement includes not only new and old portraits of Archaeopteryx but a life size mural, not just of Archaeopteryx but… some of its closest family ties! See the relatives in a close to six meters long “march”, it will also have a partial Utahraptor for good measure.
Yes, imagine my Deinonychus life size side by side with Velociraptor… and Microraptor and… Dave…and the lot… the contrast of sizes is going to be remarkable, but important to noter…. although the main protagonist will have a doble preferment treatment!
An interesting aspect of this itinerant exhibition will be the fact that is more slanted to the “art” aspect of the show. Alanna and Nick originally wanted an artshow with Archaeopteryx as a theme! It has been conceived more as an art exhibition that just a scientific one. This will put to the test what the term “Paleoart” really mean and what it is for, with the spotlight in the very different personalities and idiosyncrasies of the artists and how they have been inspired by the landmark fossil. After all, that is what “art” is supposed to be: a personal language, a personal way to express yourself…the question is, how express personality through scientific restorations of dinosaurs? Well, it is called “style”! And there’s going to be plenty to choose from stylish approaches here
Needless to say it’s incredible good fun to be working with all these very capable people. In the recent Berlin SVP I had the opportunity to exchange some seemingly very controversial ideas about the feathering of Archaeopteryx with Nick Longrich and Jakob Vinther… some may find it outlandish, but they convinced me to feather the animal to an extent not ever seen before,… to almost over the tip of its toes!
In these times of popular paleo-misinformation, exhibitions like this are very important to keep things in historical and artistic perspective… We are looking forward to a great success with this exhibition. For more information visit the Silver Plume blog and Facebook page at Dinosaurs Take Flight , https://spexhibitions.wordpress.com and http://www.dinosaurstakeflight.com/index.html
Keep tuned for more news about the event.