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Artwork of Amazing World of Dinosaurs Author on Permanent Display

In today’s post, James Kuether, author of  The Amazing World of Dinosaurs, shares with us how he created a 16- x 20-foot version of his dinosaur drawings for the Science Museum of Minnesota.

When creating natural history art that incorporates dinosaurs, the challenge is to communicate the enormous size that many attained. So when museums began requesting my images to accompany their fossil displays, they naturally wanted those images to reflect the scale of their subjects.

My first request for a mural-size image came from the Science Museum of Minnesota. This was my hometown museum, a place where I’d spent countless hours studying the dinosaurs in their collection. Late last year, they embarked on a redesign of their dinosaur exhibit and asked me to create a 16- x 20-foot version of one of my images. Having never created anything that size before, it was a daunting request. I create my artwork completely in the computer using 3D modeling software.


In the past, my images were displayed on the web or, at most, at sizes up to 16 inches wide for books. The technical challenges to creating an image large enough to cover a wall involved days of computer processing time punctuated by frequent system crashes. Eventually, I found the right mix of system memory, file size, and processing speed, and I managed to make the deadline. It was quite a thrill to see the way they used the final image.

The experience was invaluable. Since then, I’ve been contacted by four other museums interested in large format images. Working with Paul Orseli Workshops (POW!) out of New York gave me the opportunity to design and create three (10- x 16-foot) murals for the West Hartford Children’s Museum.

Images this size allowed me to design the murals so the dinosaurs appear life size, and they tower above the children’s heads as they pass by. These, along with other interactive components designed by POW!, have created a wonderful, immersive experience for learning about ancient life.

Read more about the murals created for the West Hartford Children’s Museum here.

Photo Credits:
West Hartford Children’s Museum courtesy of Teddy Vuong
Dinosaur drawings and picture at Science Museum of Minnesota courtesy of James Kuether

Liliane Opsomer
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