New GSA Book Highlights Paleontological Art
Boulder, Colo., USA: Fossils have stirred the imagination globally for
thousands of years, starting well before they were recognized as the
remains of once-living organisms and proxies of former worlds. This new
memoir from the Geological Society of America samples the history of art
about fossils and the visual conceptualization of their significance
starting with biblical and mythological depictions, extending to renditions
of ancient life as it flourished in long-vanished habitats, and on to a
modern understanding that fossil art conveys lessons for the betterment of
the human condition.
The 29 chapters and accompanying artwork in this volume explore important
developments in visualization of ancient life forms and the vanished worlds
in which they lived, and how paleoart continues to inspire our fascination
with the past.
The book begins with several chapters that trace the history of writings
and art about fossils to show how paleoart encapsulates the scientific
history of fossil investigation, as well as Earth’s history. They also show
how our understanding of fossils and ancient lives has evolved through
From illustrations of dinosaur tracks to three-dimensional sculptures,
paleoart also helps educate students and the public by providing a
standardized representation of fossil specimens, while also allowing for
the preservation of fossil records for future reference.
Chapters covering postage-stamp art, murals, and microfossil art emphasize
a major theme of the volume—that science can be of interest to and is for
Covering paleoart from Henry De la Beche to Charles R. Knight to Henry
Augustus Ward to present-day innovators, this volume recognizes the
contributions of notable women paleontological artists such as Elisabeth
Rungius Fulda, Helen Ziska, Lindsey Morris Sterling, Margret Joy Flinsch
Buba, Mary Morland Buckland, and Orra White Hitchcock.
Finally, this memoir presents the modern understanding that paleoart helps
communicate important lessons about the interdependent relationships
between humans and other organisms and the environment, and it propels us
toward wise stewardship of our planet.
Copies can be purchased through The Geological
Society of America
or by contacting GSA Sales and Service, email@example.com.
Book editors of earth science journals/publications may request a review
copy by contacting April Leo, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Evolution of Paleontological Art
Edited by Renee M. Clary, Gary D. Rosenberg, and Dallas C. Evans
Geological Society of America Memoir 2018
MWR218, 275 p., $60; GSA member price $42
Table of contents
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