James Herrmann’s dinosaur sculptures for the Cincinnati Museum Center

July 7, 2019

This is a Galeamopus, roughly two feet long, sculpted by James Herrmann (who also made the life-size Aquilops sculpture and bust) for the Cincinnati Museum Center.

Here’s what it looks like on the other side.

From behind.

And from the front.

I dig this. I’m sure someone else must have done this half-skeletal reconstruction, half-fleshed life restoration style of sculpture before, but I can’t think of any museum-quality examples. The bronze is a nice touch.

Here’s a convincingly chunky Allosaurus.

About the sculpting process, James wrote (in an email with permission to cite):

I worked on all of the museum pieces with Glenn Storrs, Ph.D., vertebrate paleontologist with the Cincinnati Museum Center. He would tell me what he envisioned and provide me with reference material, I would sculpt it, take the clay to Glenn for his critique, take it back and make revisions. We went through several cycles of this for each piece and when I received the final approval I took each piece to the foundry.

Tyrannosaurs are to museums what roller-coasters are to amusement parks. Here’s Daspletosaurus.

My favorite thing about these sculptures is why they’re done in bronze. It’s not just for posterity. James again:

The idea was to provide a small sculpture of each skeletal reconstruction on display for people to touch and feel. It was felt that this element of touch would be particularly important to accommodate the needs of the visually impaired museum visitor. I will feel like I have achieved success when the patina is rubbed off parts of the bronze.

One more, a life-size bust of Galeamopus.

In addition to having these on display at the Cincinnati Museum Center, James will be producing these sculptures as limited editions. If you’re interested, please visit http://www.herrmannstudio.com/.

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5 Responses to “James Herrmann’s dinosaur sculptures for the Cincinnati Museum Center”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    “I’m sure someone else must have done this half-skeletal reconstruction, half-fleshed life restoration style of sculpture before, but I can’t think of any museum-quality examples. The bronze is a nice touch.”

    “Essence of Rex” by Chris Navarro is a live-sized bronze statue of Tyrannosaurus rex in exactly this style outside the Tate Geological Museum in Casper, Wyoming. It’s a little bit off from perfect anatomical accuracy, but that may be compromises due to size and weight.

  2. Matt Wedel Says:

    That’s awesome! I didn’t know that existed, but a quick image search turned up a lot of nice photos. Without having done a deep dive, it looks pretty good to me. Thanks for the heads up.

  3. Brad Lichtenstein Says:

    Scale bars???
    My daughter thinks they’re cool, I’m struck by how much the allosaur looks like a bird – I’ll have to go find the flesh side if you don’t have a pic easily available…

  4. Matt Wedel Says:

    Each sculpture is about two feet long. I don’t have a flesh side of the Allosaurus — I thought I did, but it was Daspletosaurus.

    I just love the Allosaurus. Don’t tell Mike, but it’s far and away my favorite of all of these.

  5. Mike Taylor Says:

    Matt, you misspelled “Galeamopus“.


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