Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Triceracopter now available for acquisition by a qualified museum, institution or individual.

In 1977, a sculptor named Patricia Renick unveiled a piece called Triceracopter: Hope for the Obsolescence of War at Cincinnati's Contemporary Arts Center. It is literally the body of a decommissioned helicopter melded with a fiberglass Triceratops head and limbs.

The meaning of the piece is pretty clear - it plays off the durable old conception of dinosaurs as failed monstrosities, the most outlandish critters on the evolutionary discard pile. A bit on the nose, and while I disagree with dinosaurs being saddled with this reputation - no group of animals who dominated terrestrial ecosystems for 120,000,000 years has much to apologize for - you can't fault the craftsmanship. And the melding of organic and inorganic, animal and machine, is always arresting. Triceracopter would look pretty imposing in my front yard. If I had the dough, I might even buy it, as it's been on the market for about a year.

Lots of info on the piece and its creator on-line. Here's a 1978 Cincinnati Magazine article about the piece. Triceracopter also has its very own Facebook page and Flickr stream. Oh, and it has a sister named Stegowagenvolkssaurus. Renick, who passed away three years ago, was interviewed in 2003 by Sculpture Magazine. Finally, here's a post about her life's work at a blog called Terrible Tiramisu.

Triceracopter now available for acquisition by a qualified museum, institution or individual.


  1. Of course these days we know better! If Transformers and Zoids have taught me anything, it's that robot Dinosaurs and other extinct animals combined with high-tech weapons will make up the military backbone of our war-torn future! Oh Patricia Renick, could you possibly have been more wrong?

  2. Good point! Now we know what they're building at Area 51...


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