29 April 2014

Paleo-Sculpture Photo Addendum

Writing about Neanderthals and toothpicks for last Friday’s Tooth Sleuths, I remembered the photo shoot my daughter did in 2009 for an Ithaca, N.Y., newspaper article on paleo-artist John Gurche.

Although Gurche’s Neanderthal was hidden and he sculpted neither teeth nor toothpicks, I thought you might like to see him at work and Rachel’s photos (www.rachelphilipson.com).

Paleo-artist John Gurche working in an improvised studio in the lobby of Ithaca’s Museum of the Earth.
This sculpture characterizes a Homo heidelbergensis, a likely ancestor of both Neanderthals and modern humans.
Gurche told the interviewer that he spends about two months sculpting the head, taking special care of the expression.
Gurche explained that the figure’s extended arm, holding a to-be-determined dead animal part, represented an age of stone tools and the beginning of the concept of sharing.
The three figures Gurche was working on were for the Smithsonian. The standing figure characterized a female Homo erectus, who would be carrying an antelope carcass. Hidden from view behind her is our Homo neanderthalensis.

-Ithaca Times article on John Gurche:
-Gurche’s website: www.gurche.com.
-Article on Gurche in Smithsonian Magazine:
-Excerpt from: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Gurche
Gurche's works have been on display at the American Museum of Natural History, the Field Museum of Natural History, and the Smithsonian Institution. He has created illustrations for National Geographic, and designed a set of four dinosaur-themed stamps that were released by the US Postal Service in 1989.

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