John Gurche

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Reconstruction of Homo floresiensis by John Gurche, National Museum of Natural History (2010).[1]

John Gurche is an American artist known for his paintings, sculptures, and sketches of prehistoric life, especially dinosaurs and early humans. Gurche is currently an Artist in Resident at the Museum of the Earth in Ithaca, New York.[2]

Gurche studied Anthropology and Paleontology at the University of Kansas, but his study of art was limited to his days in middle school.[3]

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,[4] and designed a set of four dinosaur-themed stamps that were released by the US Postal Service in 1989.[5]

In 2000, he received the Lanzendorf PaleoArt Prize from the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology for his mural of Sue the Tyrannosaurus, a piece which accompanies the dinosaur's skeleton at the Field Museum.[6]

In 2013 he published a book detailing his work on various paleoanthropology projects he had completed for the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History's Hall of Human Origins titled Shaping Humanity: How Science, Art and Imagination Help Us Understand Our Origins .[7]


  1. ^ "[Gurche said:] 'What I wanted to get into the face was a sort of wariness,' as though the primitive little hominid is really encountering a human. 'What would we have seemed like to them?'" Abigail Tucker, "A Closer Look at Evolutionary Faces",, February 25, 2010
  2. ^ "Staff Directory, Museum of the Earth". Museum of the Earth. 2014. Retrieved October 17, 2014. 
  3. ^ Spector, J Brooks (October 16, 2014). "Looking on the past: The artistry and science of John Gurche". Daily Maverick. Retrieved October 17, 2014. 
  4. ^ Diana L. Koepfer. "Representation and aesthetics in Paleo-art: An interview with John Gurche". American Anthropologist. March 2003. Volume 105, Issue 1. 146.
  5. ^ Syd Kornish. "'Beauty and the beasts' latest Postal Service tale". Telegram & Gazette. October 15, 1989. B7.
  6. ^ "Local artist honored for T-rex painting". Denver Post. November 12, 2000. A42.
  7. ^ Feltman, Rachel (November 19, 2013). "Book Review: Shaping Humanity". Scientific American. Retrieved October 17, 2014. 

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