Drawn to Dinosaurs
October 13, 2015
Haddy’s back, in chalk and in resin, though fortunately not in the flesh. Haddy is Hadrosaurus foulkii, the famous New Jersey dinosaur that is the centerpiece of an exhibit at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.
A paleoartist will bring the dinosaur to life in real time and with colorful chalk on a real big blackboard while museum visitors watch on Sunday, Nov. 1. The artist, the Academy’s coordinator of Dinosaur Hall Jason Poole, will start the process at 11 a.m. and continue throughout the day until the famous duck-billed creature is complete, except for the roar.
The rendering will form the backdrop to Drawn to Dinosaurs, an exhibit that features a 25-foot-long resin cast of Hadrosaurus foulkii, a touchable copy of a Hadrosaurus skin impression, a time-lapse video of the first time Poole performed the chalk art happening in 2013, and the fascinating story of the dinosaur’s discovery.
Haddy, its 20th-century nickname, was discovered in 1858 in Haddonfield, N.J. While only a small portion of the fossilized dinosaur was found, the British artist Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins created a full cast of the skeleton under the direction of Academy Curator Joseph Leidy. In 1868, the Academy became the first place in the world where the public could go to see a dinosaur.
The plant-eater was later declared New Jersey’s official state dinosaur and the site where it was discovered is a national historic landmark.
Drawn to Dinosaurs delves into the science and art of visualizing a living animal based on fragmentary fossils. This intimate exhibit illustrates what scientists can deduce from the fossil record when creating a reconstruction of a skeleton or model and what they must look to artists to interpret.
The real Hadrosaurus fossils are stored in the Academy’s paleontology collection on the fifth floor of the museum. There is a cast of the original fossils on display in Dinosaur Hall.
Drawn to Dinosaurs will be on view through 2016 and is free with regular museum admission.