James Herrmann’s mammal sculptures for the Cincinnati Museum Center

October 26, 2020

When last I blogged about James Herrmann’s art, it was about some cool sculptures of dinosaurs that he had done for the Cincinnati Museum Center. I am particularly taken with the sculptures that are skeleton on one side, and fully-fleshed on the other side.

Now he’s doing mammals, specifically Ice Age megafauna. 

And they’re attracting attention–this very cool American Mastodon won the Lanzendorf-National Geographic PaleoArt Prize in the 3D category at SVP this year.

As nice as the mastodon is, I am really taken with this Bison latifrons.

What can I say, I’m a sucker for high-spined vertebrae.

I really dig these, much more than I would either a naked skeleton or a fully-fleshed restoration on both sides. I hope there are more to come in the future, both from James and from other paleoartists.

For more on James’s work, please visit his website: http://www.herrmannstudio.com/.

23 Responses to “James Herrmann’s mammal sculptures for the Cincinnati Museum Center”

  1. Brad Lichtenstein Says:

    Those ARE awesome! Lol, next up: articulation, and some animation so you can have them paw the ground and then charge you, pointy bits forward! Then it would be REALLY instructive! (Even if the lesson is, “stay away from the pointy bits”.)

  2. Matt Wedel Says:

    I am huge fan of the tendency of big mammals to evolve pointy bits sticking out of their faces. It really is shockingly widespread. Proboscideans, pigs, and hippos have tusks; rhinos, bovids (cattle, bison, sheep, sheep, goats, antelope), and antilocaprids have horns; deer have antlers; giraffes have ossicones, which are kinda lame, but then they turn their whole damned heads into battering rams, which is extremely metal (and sivatheres had cooler headgear). Who am I forgetting? Perissodactyls on the whole are kind of a letdown, with tapirs, horses, and all the hornless rhinos just punking out when it comes to horns, but I feel like rhinos rescue the whole group by having big horns, or more than one horn, or both. And all that’s just extant taxa, not counting brontotheres and uintatheres and Arsinoitherium. Marsupials and xenarthrans don’t really show up, but they win by being weird in other ways.

  3. dale m Says:

    Wow! Way cool! A great sculptor!


  4. Thanks for the link to the site, I was able to see James’s varied and talented work. I am impressed. The sculptures by James Herrmann are unique!

  5. llewelly Says:

    Matt Wedel, on horns and tusks: “Who am I forgetting? ”

    Walrus, narwhals and astrapotheres, and some toxodots come to mind.

    I’m also not sure whether you included hippos by implication or not.

    And there are corner cases like mylagaulid rodents.

  6. llewelly Says:

    oh, wait, you did list hippos. My apologies.

  7. llewelly Says:

    oh, and strap-toothed whales have tusks. Really weird tusks that may make it difficult for them to open their mouths fully.

  8. Matt Wedel Says:

    Thanks, llewelly, for the additions. And Odobenocetops, the walrus-tusked dolphin, should get a mention.

  9. llewelly Says:

    yeah, Odobenocetops definitely deserves a mention. Makes me wonder if there are any other tusked whales that need a mention. I definitely don’t know all the whales, especially the fossil ones.

  10. william dale McInnes Says:

    Hump back, Fin whales ?

  11. Matt Wedel Says:

    They’re cool, but no horns or tusks. :-(

  12. william dale McInnes Says:

    I don’t know much about those guys but they seem to me to look like marine [unintatheres ( ? s.i.c.)] (if you really squint !!)

  13. Matt Wedel Says:

    Hmm, you mean in having long-ish heads and being somewhat bumpy? I have to confess, it’s not a comparison that had occurred to me.

  14. william dale McInnes Says:

    That’s because you forgot to squint.

  15. Matt Wedel Says:

    You got me there! :-)

  16. Allen Hazen Says:

    Are artiodactyls systematically more … cervically embellished (since the obvious short word might bet censored) than perissodactyls? If so, we’d start wondering why (is there something about artiodactyl ecology or breeding systems or…?).
    But. Give or take Kubanochoerus, all the cervically embellished artiodactyls are pecorans. The differences between horns, antlers, and ossicones makes it look as if they embellished their heads separately, but… (Oh. Forgot about protoceratids, who may have been quite far removed from the Pechora on the artidactyl tree.) On the other hand, of the four main branches of perissodactyls (Tapiromorpha, Hippomorpha, Brontotheria, Chalicotheria) two developed … things … on their snouts. So maybe P. and A. aren’t that different in their propensity to develop cranial embellishments?

  17. Allen Hazen Says:

    Oh, lest it seem I missed the main point: those are beautiful sculptures!

  18. Mike Taylor Says:

    Allen, do you really mean “cervical” here?

  19. Allen Hazen Says:

    Sorry, I really meant “cranially.” I should learn to proofread more carefully before posting.

  20. llewelly Says:

    Thank you for the clairification, Allen. I for one kept thinking of Amargasaurus, and I got so confused my neck hurt.

  21. Allen Hazen Says:

    Llewelly:
    Smile! If only all my mistakes got responses in that humour!

  22. Ian Murray Says:

    Ah, my old workplace! They’ve made pretty significant strides towards being more of a paleontology museum since they finished renovating a couple years ago- Galeamopus is the only complete sauropod mounted, but there’s also a few therapods. I couldn’t say how big the behind-the-scenes collections are- have you worked with them at all?
    These sculptures are new to me. I’m always impressed by the ability of bronze-casting to recreate features like shaggy fur on the mammoths.

  23. Matt Wedel Says:

    To my immense irritation, I’ve never been to this museum _at all_. I know they have at least some sauropod material in the collections. I gotta fix this omission someday. Post-pandemic.


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