The Artist & the Scientists: Bringing Prehistory to Life

by Peter Trusler, Patricia Vickers-Rich & Thomas H Rich

Synopsis: The Artist and the Scientists: Bringing Prehistory to Life presents the extraordinary lives and works of eminent paleontologists Patricia Vickers-Rich and Tom Rich, and Peter Trusler, one of the finest artists of scientific realism Australia has produced. Over more than thirty years, Patricia, Tom and Peter have travelled across Eastern Europe, Asia, the Americas, Africa, Australia and New Zealand in search of the remains of early life, including fish, dinosaurs, birds and mammals. Their successful expeditions, and the many publications and exquisite artworks that have ensued, are a testament to their scientific methodology, thirst for knowledge and eye for detail. The book follows the development of selected works of art covering the last 600 million years of the geological record. Told from the viewpoints of both scientist and artist, the reader is given a unique insight into the process of preserving and recording the evolution of prehistoric life.

Published: September 2010 | ISBN-13: 978-0521676359

Mini-bio: Patricia Vickers-Rich, also sometimes known as Patricia Rich, is an Australian palaeontologist and ornithologist of American origin. She has published several award-winning books on popular science. She is married to palaeontologist Tom Rich. Wikipedia

Mini-bio: Thomas H Rich trained as a vertebrate palaeontologist at the University of California, Berkeley, and Columbia University, New York. As a student of Prof. Ruben Arthur Stirton at the former, he became aware of the potential in Australia to make fundamental discoveries on this continent about mammalian evolution. When an opportunity to gain his present position at Museum Victoria arose, he immigrated to this continent to pursue that area of interest. The Conversation

Mini-bio: Peter Trusler is an Australian artist known for his work on wildlife art, as well as for his scientifically rigorous reconstructions of prehistoric fauna. Wikipedia

Article about Peter Trusler

Peter Trusler creates the most stunningly photorealistic paintings of extinct animals that I have ever seen.  This book showcases these illustrations while providing  fascinating insights into the working relationships between Trusler and his palaeontologist colleagues, Pat Vickers-Rich and Tom Rich.  As a team they combined scientific and artistic observation and expose paleontological mysteries, from recent Australian megafauna, to dinosaurs, and the first traces of animal life on Earth. They demonstrate how their desire to share their passion for palaeontology by inviting the public along with them on their scientific journey fostered greater public enthusiasm and support for the science.  Expertly written and lavishly illustrated, The Artist and the Scientist is a fascinating read and as well as a feast for the eyes. – From Tessa Koumoundouros’s 10 Great Books on Scienctific Illustration

Monash University Book Review

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