Preface and acknowledgments
Published:February 24, 2022
The Evolution of Paleontological Art is the extension of a topical session convened during the 2018 annual meeting of the Geological Society of America (GSA) in Indianapolis, Indiana. We solicited additional submissions from the United States and beyond, and are delighted to include contributions from Eastern as well as Western Europe and from as far away as India and Australia.
The inspiration for the original topical session came from our conference location: The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is the repository for the Lazendorf collection, the world’s largest collection of paleontological art. Beyond its illustrative value, the history of paleontological art demonstrates the progression of paleontological knowledge and artistic advancements, from canvas to computer graphics. It encompasses the history and philosophy of geology, identity, classification, and conceptualization of fossils and their life habitats, art, and graphic design, and acknowledges the pedagogical value of erroneous as well as correct interpretations of fossils throughout the history of our science. Importantly, paleoart, in its multiple venues and variations in quality, demonstrates that science is an endeavor in which everyone can participate.
The topical session was sponsored by the GSA History and Philosophy of Geology Division, History of Earth Sciences Society, Paleontological Society, Cushman Foundation, Paleontological Research Institution, and National Earth Science Teachers Association. The GSA History and Philosophy of Geology Division generously provided financial assistance for our keynote speaker.
A generous contribution to underwrite the publication of color images in this volume was made by the GSA History and Philosophy of Geology Division from the Mary C. Rabbitt Bequest. Additional donations came from Mississippi State University, Department of Geosciences, and from the History of Geology Group (HOGG) of the Geological Society of London. Several of our authors and/or their associated professional institutions also contributed toward color image reproduction and page costs of the volume.
We thank our many colleagues who served as reviewers of the submitted manuscripts. April Leo, managing editor for GSA Books; Jon Raessler, GSA circulation specialist; and Christian Koeberl, GSA Books science editor, provided guidance and assistance as we navigated this memoir from its conceptualization to its final publication. We are especially indebted to the tireless efforts and substantial assistance of April Leo.
We are saddened by the untimely loss of authors Dr. Matthew Parkes and Dr. Patrick Getty before publication of this volume and before we could celebrate the realization of their important contributions.
Renee M. Clary, Gary D. Rosenberg, and Dallas C. Evans, Volume Editors