World Wide Art Resources Website




    An exhibition of art derived from the fossil record of five continents opens this Saturday at the McAllen International Museum. Entitled “Fossil Art from Five Continents,” the purpose of this unusual exhibit is to highlight the incredible diversity of fossil forms from the distant past and to reinforce the beauty and fascination of fossils as aesthetic objects.

A big prize from the Swedish Academy of Sciences allowed Adolf Seilacher from Yale and Tübingen Universities to visit crucial fossil localities all over the world and make large rubber casts that could be easily transported. Adequately painted, the epoxy replicas look like the originals and fascinate lay persons and scientists alike. Being mounted on black panels with imaginative titles, the slabs, up to two meters in size, may be seen as pieces of art, while an illustrated catalog provides all the scientific information.

The main scene is Precambrian life, with specimens as old as 1.8 billion years, and the Cambrian evolutionary explosion, 543 million years ago, in which most modern animal phyla appeared on the scene. Bedding surfaces of later times reveal the intricate patterns of tracks; from burrows left by ancient animals to the petroglyphs of early man. According to Seilacher, the exhibition “tries to bridge the cultural divide between arts and sciences.” It presents large rock surfaces with interesting patterns on black wooden panels and in the proper lighting a title, just as if these items were traditional art encountered in an art gallery. An illustrated catalog provides fascinating scientific explanations in detail.

This fascinating exhibition is sure to delight the whole family. It will remain at the McAllen International Museum through June 4, 2000.

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