Impressions of the Pleistocene


In 1915, prominent American palaeontologist, Henry Fairfield Osborn, published Men of the Old Stone Age: Their Environment, Life, and Art. Drawing from his three-week-tour of archaeological sites across Paleolithic Europe, Osborn’s book integrated archaeology, geology and prehistory. Painstaking in its scientific detail, Men of the Old Stone Age also offers a beautiful collection of early-twentieth century illustrations of landscapes, fauna, and hominins from renowned paleo-artists Charles R. Knight and Erwin S. Christman.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, artists, scientists, and museum curators worked closely to create the most real or true-to-the-fossil record reconstructions of long-extinct animals. As the president of the American Museum of Natural History, Osborn was well-situated and sought Knight’s artistic expertise to provide illustrations for Men of the Old Stone Age. Knight, who had already contributed many dinosaur murals to the very same museum, was eager to participate in Men of the Old…

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