Elasmosaurus to feature in new exhibit (PART 1)

plesiosaur logo Artist Debby Cotter Kaspari has produced an Elasmosaurus painting as part of a special exhibition in the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History entitled “Collecting Oklahoma”, scheduled to open on the 16th of June 2007. The exhibit will present a selection of rare and unique specimens collected around Oklahoma by the museum over the last decade. The painting was produced to be as accurate as possible:

“I worked closely with our paleontologists at the Sam Noble Museum” explains Kaspari.”I’m very happy with the finished painting which will be…presented along with the vertebrae of the elasmosaur.”

The painting will be enlarged to life-size (30 feet by 15 feet) – but even the original painting is half of that. Although only the finished painting will be displayed int the exhibit, this project provides a perfect case study examplifying the process through which palaeoatists restore prehitoric animals. The first stage involves researching the anatomy of the animal – In this case, Kaspari created a scale model of the whole animal, and a full-size model of the skull based on published reconstructions of the bones of an elasmosaurid:
Elasmosaurus model

From these models sketches can be made from all possible angles, and these form the basis for the final piece of artwork:
elasmosaurus sketches

It is also possible to experiment with colour and patterning before commiting a colour scheme to the final painting. Here is an experimental colour scheme for the head:

Elasmosaurus head
The finalized painting is now currently under wraps, but it will be featured on this page soon after the official opening of the exhibit in June. So stay tuned for part 2 of this article…

Many thanks to Debby Kaspari for providing information and allowing me to use her photographs and images.

More information:

http://www.snomnh.ou.edu/exhibits/spex.html – the official webpage of the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History

http://drawingthemotmot.wordpress.com/ -Debby Kaspari’s weblog and website:


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