Visions of Lost Worlds: The Paleoart of Jay Matternes

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Product Details

Smithsonian Books
Publish Date
10.5 X 10.6 X 1.1 inches | 3.75 pounds

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About the Author

MATTHEW T. CARRANO is Curator of Dinosauria at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. He studies the evolutionary history, functional morphology, and ecology of dinosaurs. KIRK R. JOHNSON is the Sant Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. He has authored several books including Cruisin' the Fossil Freeway. JAY MATTERNES is a renowned paleoartist whose work is in the collections of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and the American Museum of Natural History, and has also appeared in National Geographic, Time-Life Books, and more.


"These gorgeous depictions of life during different eras, covering the evolution of dinosaurs and other creatures over the past more than 50 million years, are entertaining and informative to look through, bringing animals who lived long ago to 'life.' The murals trace the evolution of different groups of mammals over time, and the murals' huge size manages to both cover a large area and include fine detail. Because these pieces of art were made several decades ago, they also demonstrate how scientific knowledge and understanding can change over time. [...] This artwork is so beloved that those in charge deemed it important to document them, in full and in great detail, in this wonderful book. If you're a fan of ancient life, or love animal and plant art, then Visions of Lost Worlds: The Paleoart of Jay Matternes is for you." - GeekDad

"A beautifully produced love letter to Matternes's palaeoart. Written by the museum's Curator of Dinosauria Matthew T. Carano and director Kirk R. Johnson, in close collaboration with Matternes himself, this large-format art book offers an unparalleled look at these murals and the artistic process of making them. [...] A large part of each chapter shows blown-up sections of the mural, revealing details that are easily missed. This highlights, for example, Matternes's love of painting animal faces and feet. Furthermore, Matternes has contributed a huge number of sketches and studies from his archives, showing the painstaking work that went into each animal shown on the murals. On many of the sketches you will find the original handwritten notes, thoughts, and corrections that Matternes jotted down as he was working. What is especially sweet is that the size of their reproduction here allows you to read almost all of them." - Natural History Book Service