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Ms Vicky Coules

VISUALISING THE DINOSAUR: Putting Flesh onto Fossils in early 19th century America. Supervisors: Dr Lucy Donkin (History of Art); Professor Mike Benton (Palaeobiology Research Group).

Images of dinosaurs have proliferated since their discovery in the 19th century and, more than any other science, palaeontology relies on the visual arts to depict its new discoveries. Yet dinosaurs are so popular that ever since the first dinosaurs were displayed to the public, a tension arose between two opposing needs – that of entertainment and marketing, and scientific accuracy. My research focusses on late 19th and early 20th century America, enquiring how scientists used artists to understand their own discoveries, visualise their living animals and promote their work to the public, and how much visual artists interacted with palaeontologists to authenticate their images.


Research keywords

  • dinosaur
  • palaeoart
  • palaeomedia
  • fantasy
  • media
  • science documentary
  • monster
  • prehistoric
  • primeval