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Re: Overview of the cast Vs real bone thread
One more to add to Martin's summary. Or, perhaps a few.
1] With the remarks attributed to Chris Brochu I would put the amazing
technical finesse involved in first class mounting jobs, such as at the
AMNH and no doubt with Sue. The skill in such tours-de-force is evident
in the sheer enormity of progress from the bad old days of ironworks
(themselves having anachronistic appeal). The crossing of disciplines and
technical mastery involved with such mounts gives pause to be awestrcuk.
2] Most public feedback I've heard indicates that they have a hard time
discriminating restored parts of a cast skeleton. This is often the case
with monochrome casts but even more so when (possibly
intentional) obfuscation occurs in painting - no clear differentiation.
3] I agree with Steve Brusatte's remarks that some visceral feeling of
historicity is the reward of connecting with the real thing, especially
when this is made clear in the exhibit. Steve knows the impact of being
able to see Baron Cuvier's study specimens, but this should also be
eveident for everyone viewing the real material. Only then would it be
completely justified. Likewise, if cast material is chosen over the real
thing, it is incumbent upon us to justify the choice, explaining the
reasons why this is/should be so.
Jeffrey Alan Bartlett
North Carolina State University
North Carolina State Museum