Archaeopteryx by Doncaster

John Doncaster (1907-1981)
Archaeopteryx, 1950/51.
Watercolour on paper, 450 x 350 mm.

John Doncaster was a man of many skills and abilities. During his career he spent time as a science researcher and an exhibition designer at the Natural History Museum. Later he became head of a science department at the Museum.

In the 1950s he combined his artistic skills with scientific knowledge and an understanding of exhibition design to produce an outstanding watercolour of the fossil bird, the Archaeopteryx lithographica. Setting it in an imagined prehistoric landscape, Doncaster successfully brought a fossilised scientific specimen 'to life' for the public to admire and appreciate.


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