Friday, September 24, 2010

Vintage Dinosaur Art: James Seward

Stegosaurus

Generally, children can be counted on to have a fairly robust interest in dinosaurs. They also like stickers. Today's title, The Nature Sticker Book of Dinosaurs, combines the two in a stroke of genius that probably still elicits fond memories of the day it struck one of the enterprising executives of Offenheimer Press. I envision two elderly gentlemen relaxing after a round of golf, sipping bourbon. "Remember that dinosaur sticker book, Jimmy?"

"Yeah, Roger. I sure do."

"Hell of an idea. Hell of an idea."

"Those were our salad days," Jimmy muses as he watches the rich amber libation swirl in its glass.

Brontosaurus

Allosaurus

I wouldn't be making up imaginary conversations between this book's publishers if it was the flashiest title ever. It isn't. Just workmanlike depictions of dinosaurs that don't fuss over minor considerations like anatomical accuracy (a Pteranodon is thrown in for good measure, natch). Though it was published in 1988, James Seward's dinosaurs are decidedly pre-renaissance. Allosaurus and Tyrannosaurus walk with the old "man in suit" posture. The sauropods dutifully hang out next to or wade in bodies of water.

Brachiosaurus

Styracosaurus

When looking into James Seward on-line, I mainly got results for a prominent painter of Christian art. He also buttered his bread with various commercial publishers, so I imagine this is one of his projects as well. It may be a project he revisited, if this Amazon listing is correct. the only other James Seward I found would have been too young to have done this, unless he was a Mozart-like prodigy. Not impossible, just really implausible.

Ankylosaurus

To answer the question that's surely burning a hole in your cranium: No. None of the stickers were left by the time I picked this up secondhand.

As ever, you can check out more from this book and many others at the Vintage Dinosaur Art Flickr pool.

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