Monday, January 10, 2011

The Great Vintage Dinosaur Art Linkfest

vanity_fair
Image from Norman Felchle, via flickr.

This week, I'm feeling a little bit crazy. I've got one of them so-called wild hairs up my tuchus. Or is it "wild hare?" Neither sounds good, but that sounds a lot more terrible. So, I'm doing something a bit different by sharing links to other blogs and websites that offer insight into the proud and sometimes wonderfully absurd history of dinosaur illustrations.

Mark Crowell has a super-thorough page dedicated to vintage dinosaur books. It includes plenty of representative scans of the illustrations inside and the cover images. Mark also notes where artists stole from, where necessary, which is handy, and provides a nice bibliography of books on dinosaur art.

Not as extensive as Crowell's site but worth a look is this one by a fellow who goes by the handle Doubt Boy.

The blog Bibliodyssey has featured pieces on old scientific texts featuring dinosaur illustrations a few times: Extinct Monsters, Before the Deluge, & Sketchbook of a Dinosaur Builder.

Trish Arnold's blog also features posts on old dinosaur books, with pretty entertaining commentary, to boot. Her posts on John C. McLoughlin's books have been particularly fun to read.

One of my favorite sites is the Linda Hall Library Paper Dinosaurs on-line exhibit. Taking you chronologically from the beginnings of paleontology, it provides historical context for some of the iconic images of the science as well as important work that isn't as famous.

Charley Parker's always-enlightening art blog Lines & Colors deals with dinosaurs pretty regularly. Perusing Parker's Paleo Art posts, you'll appreciate the critical eye he brings to his writing about the reconstruction of lost worlds. He also has worked closely with Walters & Kissinger, and created the DinoMixer app with two of his friends.

One of the most comprehensive sites dedicated to the evolution of dinosaur art over the years is Paleoartistry: A 180 Year Retrospective, providing loads of insight into the artists and trends of different eras, from the very beginning of what we now know as paleoart.

If you're up for doing a bit of digging yourself, and I don't blame you if you do, there are some other good places to poke around for cool old illustrations. You can take a look on Copyright Expired for public domain images. You can root around in the science section of Wikimedia Commons. Flickr has many groups devoted to dinosaurs and paleontology, but none were dedicated to old illustrations exclusively. So I started the Vintage Dinosaur Art group, and it has thrived thanks to the contributions of the two dozen or so members who have joined in.

This is a pretty good compilation, but I know there are probably more sites out there that I haven't come across or have grievously forgotten to include. If you know of a site that should be included here, please comment below and I'll continually add to this post.

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