[I tried to reduce some of the background stains - original]
[the invitation to the dinner] [very small image from the Illustrated London News]
Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins (1807-1889) was an English natural history artist, sculptor and zoological educator. He spent the 1840s constructing models of living animals and his work resulted in a commission from the Crystal Palace Company to produce replicas of extinct animals.
Collaborating with paleontologist Sir Richard Owen (who is credited with inventing the word dinosaur), Hawkins produced more than 30 life-sized iguanodons, megalosaurs, ichtyosaurs, megatheres and other creatures which were installed in the grounds of Crystal Palace in 1854. They were a sensational and popular attraction. [Hawkins had created the first ever dinosaur model for the Worlds Fair in London, 3 years before].
Hawkins later went to the United States where he received a commission to produce replica dinosaurs from American fossils and spent some years sidestepping the fomenting political scandals of New York City to construct models. The intention was for a Paleozoic museum to be erected in Central Park. Political skullduggery won through however and the venture didn't get beyond construction of the foundations (which are still there under the ground somewhere I believe). Hawkins' models were ordered destroyed and his services terminated in 1871. It was essentially a budget decision but it's a convoluted story.
Hawkins kept a scrapbook during the 1870s and it includes pencil sketches, photographs, illustrations and clippings - some collected in previous years.
- The sketch/scrapbook is online at the Ewell State Library website of the Academy of Natural Sciences [firefox incompatible page]
- The Linda Hall Library of Science exhibition: Paper Dinosaurs 1824-1969 (includes sketch of the Crystal Palace dinosaur display)
- Paleontology and Politics - Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins and his New York City Paleozoic Museum by David Goldman (lots of images)
- Dinosaur history - Brooklyn College.
- Strange Science
- BW Hawkins at wikipedia