Charles R. Knight's illustrations didn't just light up the imaginations of young paleontologists to be. His imagery even influenced Hollywood. Learn More >
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Charles Knight was an influential painter who used his brush to bring extinct animals and their environments to life for modern audiences. He worked closely with scientists in order to make his vibrant imagery of prehistoric flora and fauna adhere to scientific knowledge in the middle of the 20th century.
So how does his work hold up now that we’re in the 21st century, more than 50 years later? Life Through the Ages: Revisiting the Paintings of Charles R. Knight looks at Knight’s iconic paintings — 16 in all, including a woolly mammoth, brontosaurus, and pteranodon (an enormous flying reptile that lived approximately 80 million years ago) — in light of current understanding. Seven of the Museum's scientists provide commentary to accompany Knight's paintings in this exhibit, placing his work into the context of modern scholarship.
This installation, which mixes art, history and science, resides on the rotunda’s second floor, which was initially designed to showcase art when the 1913 Building was constructed nearly 100 years ago.