Mural in Carnegie's T. rex exhibit wins 2009 Lanzendorf PaleoArt award
A 92-foot mural of prehistoric South Dakota is grabbing global attention for the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Oakland.
The Philadelphia couple who "painted" the mural -- Tess Kissinger and Bob Walters, both age 60 -- also are $600 richer after winning the 2009 John J. Lanzendorf PaleoArt Prize.
Their award-winning "Hell Creek Formation" mural backs the "T. rex vs. T. rex" display in the Oakland museum's "Dinosaurs in Their Time" exhibit.
The massive mural depicts horned Triceratops, duck-billed Edmontosaurus, big-headed Pachycephalosaurus, and a feathered oviraptorosaur, all thriving in the Cretaceous period -- 66 million to 68 million years ago -- among sycamores, ginkgoes, fan palms, flowering magnolia and buttercups.
"It's just stunning," says anatomy professor Lawrence Witmer of Ohio University, chairman of the Lanzendorf prize selection committee.
"They're an amazing team," Witmer says about Walters and Kissinger. "Very talented and very hard-working."
The international Society of Vertebrate Paleontology annually awards Lanzendorf prizes for two- and three-dimensional works of art, plus scientific illustration.
The two-dimensional "Hell Creek Formation" mural is named after a swath of fossil-rich rocks that stretches from southern Canada to South Dakota.
Another whopping work by Walters & Kissinger, LLC -- the 180-foot "Morrison Formation" mural at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History -- won the 2007 Lanzendorf PaleoArt Prize for two-dimensional projects.
People can see the "Morrison Formation" mural in the Jurassic period section of the "Dinosaurs in Their Time" exhibit. The mural depicts prehistoric life 150 to 145 million years ago in the American West.
Walters and Kissinger, who met at a science-fiction convention, hardly expected to cop the coveted Lanzendorf prize a second time.
"It's kind of stunning to us, because there are hundreds of applicants," says Kissinger, a Carnegie Mellon University graduate who once honed her artistic skills by drawing stuffed birds borrowed from the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.
Walters studied art at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia.
To create "Hell Creek Formation," the couple combined hand-painted and hand-drawn illustrations with computer-generated images. A commercial printer produced the final mural in panels, which were installed, like rolls of wallpaper, in the spring of 2008.
The mural began as a "composition of what paleontologists think the environment would have looked like, and what animals should be present," Walters says. "Some of that was drawn on the computer. ... Some stuff was done in pencil, and pen and ink, on traditional media, then scanned into the computer.
"We used a number of different methods," Walters says. "Everything from watercolor underpaintings scanned into the computer, to generating three-dimensional computer models."Additional Information:
People can view the 'Hell Creek Formation' and 'Morrison Formation' murals from10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday, and noon- 5 p.m. Sunday at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. Admission is $15; $12 for age 65 and older; $11 for students and ages 3-18. Details: 412-622-3131.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Starkey: What are Penguins, Pirates up to?
- 3 in Westmoreland charged in prescription narcotics operation
- Kennametal plans plant closings, job cuts; fallout from oil and gas decline
- Wintry mix of rain, freezing rain and snow bearing down on Pittsburgh area
- Pitt’s 2015 schedule includes 5 road games in 1st 7 games
- Pa. Treasurer McCord resigns without explanation, to leave Feb. 12
- 2 arrested in Wilkinsburg shooting
- Lapierre eager to make mark with Penguins
- Uber gains PUC approval to operate in most of Pa. for 2 years
- Capitals dominate overmatched Penguins in win at Verizon Center
- Beer spills onto Route 22 when delivery truck collides with coal truck