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Academy publishes first biography of artist-naturalist Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins
Date:7/17/2008

PHILADELPHIA Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins was a 19th-century British artist and naturalist who significantly changed the way society thought about the world and its pre-human inhabitants. Hawkins drew worldwide attention in 1868 when he created the first mount of a dinosaur skeleton, Hadrosaurus foulkii, at The Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia.

As the museum prepares to remount a cast of Hadrosaurus in November, the Academy is pleased to announce publication of the first full-length biography of Hawkins. All In the Bones: A Biography of Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins (ISBN 978-0-910006-65-1) is based on years of meticulous research in libraries, archives and museums in England and the U.S., including family papers, letters, sketchbooks and private records that have never been available to scholars before. The authors have divided the publication into two complementary sections. Valerie Bramwell, the artist's great-great-great-granddaughter, focuses on the complex personal life and times of Hawkins, while Robert M. Peck, Curator of Art and Artifacts and Senior Fellow at the Academy, focuses on the artist's contributions to science and art.

One of the most versatile and prolific natural-history artists of the Victorian age, Hawkins (1807-1894) played a central role in the popularization of 19th-century science. His knowledge of comparative anatomy and versatility at painting enabled him to create beautiful and scientifically accurate illustrations of fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, mammals, insects, and the fossils of long-extinct creatures for such important figures as Richard Owen, Charles Darwin and Thomas Henry Huxley early in his career.

Hawkins went on to make the first life-size reconstructions of dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures anywhere in the world. In 1854, his dinosaur sculptures at the "Crystal Palace" in Sydenham (South London) captured the attention of millions of people and introduc
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Contact: Carolyn Belardo
belardo@ansp.org
215-299-1043
The Academy of Natural Sciences
Source:Eurekalert  

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