The first 6 months of 1905 saw two prominent, celebrity-studded, and copiously publicized unveilings of full-size dinosaur exhibits. In February, the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York unveiled its Brontosaurus mount; in April, Andrew Carnegie’s donation of a cast of Diplodocus carnegii (his “namesake,” as he liked to call it) was presented to the British Museum in London. As Lukas Rieppel explains in his book, Assembling the Dinosaur, neither the timing, nor the place, nor the form of these events rested on coincidence.
Yeah, I wrote that. It has been out for a while in fact, but I forgot to put it on the blog somehow. Below, I will try to tell a bit more about it. Also, my publishers, University of Pittsburgh Press, posted a Q&A with yours truly at the time of the presentation we did at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh. If you don’t need more information and want to order it right away (which I obviously wholeheartedly encourage), this is one place where you might do so. Continue reading Purchase suggestion (wink): American Dinosaur Abroad: A Cultural History of Carnegie’s Plaster Diplodocus
Last week, I spent some time in the truly amazing Vienna Natural History Museum – more about that later. Tucked away in a staircase between the second and third floors is a small exhibit about the history of the museum that devotes a lot of space to the early history of the collection (and virtually none to those seven years after 1938 the Viennese would rather forget about). In one of these cases I found the little statue you see to the right, a plaster concoction from a Dr. Friedrich König (which may have been this guy, although I rather doubt it). Continue reading The Mystery of Friedrich König’s Plaster Dinosaurs