William D. Berry paleoart at SVP
For people who are attending the SVP meeting October 26–29, 2016 in Salt Lake City, I've been contacted to pass on information about some vintage 1960s paleoartwork by wildlife artist William D. Berry. The original artworks will be in town for the meeting.
Dan Chure and Diana Berry, Bill's daughter-in-law and director of Berry Studios in Alaska, are bringing 15 works of art and are trying to arrange a time where anyone interested in the artwork can see the pieces. The pieces as insured and need to be watched at all times. People interested in seeing the artwork can contact Dan Chure at firstname.lastname@example.org
From a proposed abstract for a poster that will be up in the session on Utah Paleontology for the entire meeting (but not in the regular poster session):
'Bill Berry (1926-1979) was a nationally recognized wildlife artist, mural painter, and sculptor. Best known for his work on Alaskan mammals, he had many commissions for paintings, illustrations, murals, and dioramas. He worked in pencil, oil, silkscreen, and bronze sculpture. Berry wrote several books and illustrated a number of others. His care is shown in his annotation of sketches to indicate if he had completed it while observing the animal (“Life”) or afterwards (“Memory”).
Berry’s powers of observation were profound and his grasp of anatomy and movement second to none. He brought these powers to bear when hired by the National Park Service to work on paleo exhibit artwork for the newly constructed Quarry Visitor Center enclosing the Carnegie Quarry. DNM was a different type of paleontological exhibit, where bones were exposed but left in-place. Lacking the traditional mounted skeletons, the artwork was challenged with bringing scattered bones together and back to life as living, breathing, dynamic animals.
The results were spectacular and are the zenith of dinosaur art in the middle of the 20th century. The animals were illustrated in life-like positions, feeding and walking, in views other than just simple side-on. His artwork was entirely original in composition and not a rehash/redrawing of older dinosaur art Some scenes, such as the Allosaurus in hot pursuit of a Camptosaurus, match many modern pieces portraying carnivorous dinosaurs. The dramatic head-on view of an Apatosaurus lumbering along in a torrential rainstorm has not been repeated. He illustrated nearly all the fossil vertebrates known from the Carnegie Quarry at that time ( Allosaurus, Apatosaurus, Camarasaurus, Camptosaurus, Diplodocus, Dryosaurus, Stegosaurus) as well as crocodilians (Goniopholis, Hoplosuchus) and turtles (Glyptops). He also did the impressive sculptures of Allosaurus, Camarasaurus, Camptosaurus, Goniopholis, and Stegosaurus seen in the “Dinosaur Sandbar” diorama.'
For a gallery of Bill Berry's dinosaur-related artwork at Dinosaur National Monument in the 1960s, see the following links:
more on his career: