Yale Bulletin and Calendar

April 20, 2007|Volume 35, Number 26















This photograph showing artist Rudolph Zallinger painting "The Age of Mammals" mural is part of the exhibit "Dinosaurs, Mammals & Forests Primeval: Celebrating the Great Zallinger Murals at Yale," which will be on display April 26-Dec. 31 at the Peabody Museum of Natural History.

Peabody paying tribute to its famed murals

The year 2007 marks the 60th anniversary of what is arguably the world's most famous dinosaur painting, the 110-foot-long "The Age of Reptiles," and the 40th anniversary of its less-famous but equally prized companion, "The Age of Mammals," both on permanent display at Yale's Peabody Museum of Natural History.

This month, the museum will begin a year of celebration related to these two icons of art, which were first brought to the world's attention when they were featured on covers of Life magazine.

The exhibition "Dinosaurs, Mammals & Forests Primeval: Celebrating the Great Zallinger Murals at Yale" will open on Thursday, April 26. The display, which continues through Dec. 31, features memorabilia related to the murals and the artist who painted them, Rudolph F. Zallinger, and tells the story behind the works' creation.

For his work on "The Age of Reptiles," which he began as a student at the Yale School of Fine Arts, Zallinger won the 1949 Pulitzer Award for Painting, the original of which is displayed in the exhibition. The appearance of the murals on the Life covers and in the tabletop book "The World We Live In" (all featured in the exhibit) sparked a renaissance of public interest in dinosaurs and paleontology. Also on view are some of the first dinosaur toys and various other products reproducing the murals' vivid images of ancient animals. The exhibition also features preliminary drawings and paintings, archival memorabilia and photographs of Zallinger at work on the murals at various stages.

The Peabody's "Age of Reptiles"
mural gained widespread attention
when it was featured on the cover
of Life magazine.

"The Age of Reptiles" documents 300 million years of Earth's history, from the Devonian Period 362 million years ago to the Cretaceous Period 65 million years ago. "The Age of Mammals" chronicles Earth's history from shortly after the extinction of the giant dinosaurs to the great beasts of the Ice Ages. Both are painted in the rare Renaissance fresco secco technique. While scientists' view of dinosaurs and early mammals has altered dramatically since the murals were created, the two works reflect the most up-to-date scientific knowledge at the time, and their scenes of dinosaurs, mammals and primeval forests have been credited with sparking an interest in science in millions of people around the world.

Two Thursday afternoon talks have been scheduled in May in conjunction with the exhibit: May 3 -- "The Lost World of the Great Zallinger Mural: 60 Years with 'The Age of Reptiles,'" by Yale professors Jacques Gauthier and Leo Hickey, respectively curator of vertebrate paleontology and curator of paleobotany at the Peabody; and May 17 -- "Where Art Meets Science: The Zallinger Murals," by Armand Morgan, senior museum educator. Both talks will take place at 5 p.m. and are free and open to the public.

A series of talks, workshops, a children's art contest and other special events will follow throughout 2007. A gala is planned for Saturday, Nov. 10. In addition, a full-color revised edition of the book "The Age of Reptiles: The Art and Science of Rudolph Zallinger's Great Dinosaur Mural at Yale" is being released in conjunction with the exhibition.

Yale's Peabody Museum of Natural History, located at 170 Whitney Ave., is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Satuday and noon-5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors age 65 and over, and $5 for children ages 3-18 and students with I.D. There is free admission for all 2-5 p.m. on Thursdays. Museum members, Yale community members with a valid I.D. and children under age 3 are always admitted for free. The museum is wheelchair accessible. Parking is available in the Peabody Visitor Parking Lot, entrance off Whitney Ave., one block north of the museum; follow signs inside the entrance. For directions, events or other information call (203) 432-5050 or visit the website at www.peabody.yale.edu.


Peabody paying tribute to its famed murals

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Yale Books in Brief

Campus Notes

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