"A lavish showcase of paleoartist Jay Matternes's spectacular murals and sketches. For half a century, the artwork of Jay Matternes adorned the fossil halls of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Most prominent among his work was a set of immense murals documenting the story of mammal evolution over the past 56 million years. Matternes also worked with sculptor Neal Deaton to construct three dioramas showing environments from each of the major time periods of the Mesozoic Era. These treasured Matternes murals and dioramas are significant works of one of the most influential paleoartists in history. Simultaneously epic in size and scope and minutely detailed, they also provide a window into the study and interpretation of vertebrate paleontology and paleoecology. Visions of Lost Worlds presents these unparalleled works of art, and also includes the sketches and drawings Matternes prepared as he planned the murals. Known for his technical genius and eye for detail, Matternes sketched from skeletons in museum collections and added muscle, skin, and fur to bring mammals and dinosaurs from prehistory to vivid life. This book offers a close look at these works of art, a peek inside the artist's process, and an examination of the works' impact and legacy"-- Provided by publisher.