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Uphill Both Ways

Volume 9 - Boston 1956


can’t translate it into a difference between the two portions of the curtain I just described, can you. Kronosaurus just floats there. There is nothing that intrudes on the shape of the skeleton.

That was dad’s vision. Create a mount that had no evidence of man’s hand in it. No one had ever done that before, and only an artist with understanding of bones and his resources who was a welder and machinist could do this thing. Today museums everywhere have learned from his method and now conceal the bulk of the supports. Yet no one that I have seen yet has reached the level of perfection he did. Because no individual possesses all of the skills and vision necessary to pull all of the elements of a dinosaur mount together in the manner he did. In time a team -it will have to be a team of specialists because no individual from this era will possess all the skills again- will be pulled together to match him. That’s sure to happen. But no one will exceed him as you will see below in the double mount of Stage 3. Because it’s impossible.

In addition to the concept of concealing the supports, the other predominant feature of Stage 1 is dad’s use of a trompe d’oeil to make the Kronosaurus appear to hang in space: he bolted the steel framework that held Kronosaurus to a wall. Then he concealed the framework by a cleverly contoured stucco curtain that denied the eyes points of reference. This stage was the simplest because he did a mount that gave him the option of hiding massive supports. I’ll show you below from his photos just how massive the framework was for Kronosaurus and you’ll see why it was a luxury to be able to conceal it behind a wall. This luxury was obviously not available when a free-standing mount. In that case, the support could not be hung from a wall or ceiling or hidden behind a nice wall.

This stage was defined, then, by that supporting framework anchored to a wall, from which the skeleton was hung with all supporting steel buried inside the bones, all of which was concealed behind a stucco curtain.

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