The King of the Sea and other stories of prehistoric life at the University of Queensland
by Kerry Heckenberg

In the 1950s, three examples of mural art depicting extinct creatures, The Age of Reptiles, The Age of Mammals and the 'King of the Sea' or Kronosaurus queenslandicus, were painted as decorative and instructive images on the walls of the new Geology Museum at the University of Queensland. Despite heritage-listing, these murals have not fared well in terms of their visibility, something this study seeks to redress by setting them in the local historic and artistic context as well as in relation to the development of palaeoart worldwide.


In the 1950s, during the construction and decoration of the University of Queensland at its new St Lucia site in suburban Brisbane, three murals were painted on the walls of the Geology Museum in what is now the Richards Building. The subject of the first picture was The Age of Reptiles while the second depicted The Age of Mammals (or, more specifically, local megafauna). The third celebrated the giant marine reptile Kronosaurus queenslandicus, described in a 1936 newspaper article as the 'King of the Sea' that 'swam in the seas of Central Australia' 110–100 million years ago.[1] The museum is now located elsewhere; and although the heritage-listed murals survive, they are largely ignored since they are situated in a restricted access laboratory.

The 1936 article goes on to argue for the value of studying and restoring fossils:

The discovery of these fossil skeletons of monsters of the past presents to scientists definite evidences of the processes of evolution.

As the telescope enables the astronomer to look far into space and thrill us with the magnitude of things once unknown, so the study of fossils enables the palaeontologist to look far back into time, and reconstruct to some degree the wonderful life of the remote part of our earth millions of years before the coming of man.[2]

But if this study does allow the palaeontologist 'to look far back into time, and reconstruct to some degree' past life, the issue of degree is a significant one. Pictures that seek to re-create and vivify extinct creatures ('palaeoimages' in recent terminology[3]) raise interesting issues about what we mean by realism as well as the relationship between art and science. They are dependent on current scientific notions and can easily seem out-of-date as ideas about these creatures change. Do they thereby become worthless? Or does their status as works of art or as indicators of particular historical ideas and values make them significant? While they aim to convince with their realism, such representations are also highly conventional, characterised as they are by what Stephen Jay Gould describes as 'unnatural crowding and pervasive predation'.[4]

In other words, palaeoart has a history. One of my aims in this study is to situate the University of Queensland murals within this wider history by describing their precursors, possible influences, and relationship to other noteworthy examples from the mid-twentieth century. This will enable an evaluation of their claims to heritage significance. Other goals include enhancing their visibility and reviving the intended memorial function of the Kronosaurus mural. I begin by describing the murals and the particular events that led to their presence at St Lucia, including the dramatic circumstances surrounding the painting of the 'King of the Sea'.

History of the Richards Building
Geology was included as a foundation subject when teaching began at the University of Queensland in 1911. It was considered essential in the education of civil and mining engineers, as well as a useful option in science. The pragmatic needs of a state that had extensive mineral resources ensured the growth and continuing importance of the discipline. The inaugural lecturer, Henry Caselli Richards (1884–1947), became an influential member of the university teaching and administrative community, especially after being promoted to professor when the Chair of Geology and Mineralogy was established in 1919.[5] He was heavily involved in promoting the university's move to St Lucia from temporary accommodation in inner city Brisbane and was active on the Building and Grounds Committee (serving as chairman between 1943 and 1947) and the John Darnell Fine Arts Committee (chairman, 1940–47). His sudden death from a stroke in July 1947 prompted the naming of the new geology building at St Lucia in his honour.[6]
Fig. 1. Richards Building, University of Queensland, 1950
Fig. 1. Richards Building, University of Queensland, 1950
Records and Archives Management Services, UQA S178 b294

Designed by Jack Francis Hennessy (1887–1955) of the Sydney architectural firm of Hennessy, Hennessy & Co.,[7] the Richards Building is part of the Great Court complex (see Fig. 1), one of the first buildings to be completed in the years after the Second World War and one of the few to receive a full complement of decorative schemes, both outside and inside, something that had to be curtailed in subsequent building work as the university sought to cope with an influx of students and a cut-back in funding.[8] The Geology Department made the move to St Lucia in the summer of 1949–50 and staff members designed the frieze above the main entrance to the building.[9] Both Frederick William Whitehouse (1900–73) and Dorothy Hill (1907–97), two very successful graduates of the department who returned to teach and undertake research at the University of Queensland after obtaining postgraduate qualifications from Cambridge, were involved.[10] Whitehouse's reputation has been tarnished by the circumstances surrounding his resignation from the University of Queensland in 1955 (he was being prosecuted on a morals charge). According to Hill in her 1981 history of the department, he was 'charismatic, vital, and a bachelor, enthusiastic about his teaching, his research, his U.Q. Dramatic Society and Rowing Club activities, and his various amusements'; his resignation was a 'grievous blow'.[11]

Fig. 2. 
    In the Geology Museum: illustration included in 
    The University of Queensland, St. Lucia
Fig. 2. 'In the Geology Museum'
from The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, 1965, p. 13

The low relief scene above the main entrance depicting dinosaurs and vegetation was carved in sandstone by John Theodore Muller (1872–1953). German-born and trained, Muller carried out most of the stone carving done at St Lucia between 1939 and his death in 1953. The various relief panels were designed by others, but he was responsible for the preparation of final cartoons and any adjustments that seemed necessary during the actual cutting of the stone.[12] In his 1957 guide to the university, literary scholar Frederick Walter Robinson (1888–1971) notes that the dinosaur relief:

represents a pleasant afternoon spent together by various types of dinosaurs and their contemporaries, including the first birds, against an ideal landscape of Jurassic vegetation, more than a hundred million years ago. All the animals represented were, one is assured, herbivorous, not carnivorous; hence the scene corresponds to a pastoral landscape of our own age!

There is also a carved trilobite on the left of the main door, Xystridura saint smithii, named after a former Geology Survey of Queensland officer, E Cecil Saint Smith, while an ammonite (Prohysteroceras richardsi) on the right celebrates Richards.[14]

Fig. 3. Don Cowen and Quentin Hole, part of 
    The Age of Reptiles, 1951, oil on concrete, 15.24 x 0.9m
Fig. 3. The Age of Reptiles (detail), 1951
by Don Cowen and Quentin Hole
photograph by NR Heckenberg
The first two interior murals were painted by two young local artists, Don (Donald Ross) Cowen (1920–87) and (Robert) Quentin Hole (1923–99), again with advice from the Geology staff (see Fig. 2). The Age of Reptiles, completed in 1951, is described by Hill in 1981 as 'a long painting showing the evolution in appropriate landscape of the animal and plant kingdoms from the Cambrian to the end of the Mesozoic' (Fig. 3) while the second mural (1952) depicts 'the Tertiary and Quaternary landscapes, animals and plants of Australia' (see Fig. 4). Designing these scenes was a 'labour of love', according to Hill.[15] Robinson notes that the murals represent 'the phenomena of geological time', with the time span of the first mural encompassing 'over some 150 million years, including the Permian, Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods', ending with the extinction of the dinosaurs.[16] In contrast,

the mural on the south wall comes nearer home. It is quite 'recent' in geological time, depicting animals that have lived and developed in Australia in the last million years. The skeletons on which reconstructions are based were found in the Pleistocene and Recent sediments, from, for instance, the Darling Downs.[17]

Fig. 4. Second mural for the Geology Museum at UQ by Quentin Hole and Don Cowen (1952)
Fig. 4. The Age of Mammals, 1952
by Quentin Hole and Don Cowen
photograph by NR Heckenberg
While the first mural is a continuous panoramic strip, moving through a vast period of time from left to right, the second is a tableau, representing a frozen moment in time with an unlikely gathering of examples from a wide range of contemporary species. Like the carved frieze, it is a pastoral image. Done on a much larger scale than the first painted mural, it is a more effective picture with a greater impact on the viewer. This might simply reflect the opportunity offered by a difference in site, but increased experience on the part of the artists is probably also relevant.
Fig. 5. Quentin Hole, Kronosaurus queenslandicus, 1958, oil on concrete
Fig. 5. Kronosaurus queenslandicus, 1958
by Quentin Hole
photograph by Kerry Heckenberg

Hole returned in 1958 to paint by himself the Kronosaurus queenslandicus mural (see Fig. 5). It was intended as a memorial to Heber Longman (1880–1954), the recently deceased former director of the Queensland Museum and the person responsible for identifying and naming Kronosaurus in 1924. The perceived need for such a memorial at this particular time is related to events taking place in the same year at another university museum: in 1958 the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology finally unveiled its reconstruction of an enormous skeleton of Kronosaurus collected on an expedition to Queensland in 1931–32. I will return to the politics of this situation later in this article, but at this stage I would like to signal the important precedent offered by American institutions, including some noteworthy university museums, with their decorative and instructive depictions of what Martin Rudwick has termed 'scenes from deep time'.[18] Before considering the murals further, the training and experience of the two local artists should be examined.

Hole and Cowen

Brisbane-born Don Cowen served in the Australian Army from 1942 to 1946,[19] having completing his artistic training under local teacher Melville Haysom and also at the Central Technical College in Brisbane.[20] Quentin Hole was a few years younger, a country lad born in Charleville who also served briefly in the Australian Army (1945–46)[21] . Following this he studied art at the Central Technical College Art School under the auspices of the Commonwealth Rehabilitation Training Scheme.[22] Cowen and Hole seem to have been friends; they were members of the Younger Artists Group of the Royal Queensland Art Society and they also exhibited at Brian Johnstone's Marodian Gallery at 452 Upper Edward Street, Brisbane, during its brief life (1950–51), and at its successor, the Johnstone Gallery in the Brisbane Arcade (1952–57).[23] They participated in the first exhibition at the Marodian Gallery, described by Louise Martin-Chew as consisting of 'unabashed flower painting with popular appeal. There was little in this exhibition of many Brisbane-based artists to frighten the natives'.[24] They also exhibited together in a joint exhibition at the Marodian Gallery in April 1951. The Brisbane Courier-Mail reviewer Elizabeth Young favoured Hole over Cowen, writing that Hole was 'an artist of noteworthy promise' and suggesting that (in contrast to Cowen) he:

maintains an even standard in his work. Characterised by careful draughtsmanship with a delicate feeling for line, his watercolours have a pleasing unity, and in both watercolour and oil we are impressed by his sensitive colour.[25]

Cowen is described as 'broad and emotional in his approach', while his work 'is, on the whole and unexpectedly, most satisfying in one or two of his watercolours'.[26]

Hole's work was also reviewed well later in 1951 when 'W.L.' included him in a group of artists praised for having 'works of more than average standard' in a 'Christmas Art Show'.[27] This suggestion of high regard in the local community is reinforced by Daphne Mayo's recommendation of Hole 'as an artist who could be considered for official employment' by the War Memorial in Canberra in 1951,[28] and by the Queensland National Art Gallery's purchase of a painting around this time.[29] In early February 1953 Hole was given a farewell exhibition at the Johnstone Gallery and this was followed immediately by a similar exhibition for Cowen. In November 1954 Hole had an exhibition of works painted in Europe, but nothing more is heard of Cowen in the local arts scene.[30] A one-man exhibition at the Johnstone Gallery in October 1956 marked Hole's return to Brisbane. In June the following year, Gertrude Langer mentioned 'Quintin Hole' and his 'decorative "Italian Hilltown"' in her review of 'a quite lively show of "Queensland Art 1957"'.[31] In spite of this positive local response, Hole changed direction and ultimately had a successful career as a stage designer for theatre and television in Australia as well as an illustrator of children's books.[32]

Most of the two artists' exhibited works were landscapes, with Hole painting inland scenes while Cowen favoured coastal or river subjects. Neither showed a particular interest in scenes from deep time. Nevertheless, the three murals are well designed and painted, especially the second and third. Detailed preliminary sketches survive for the first and second.[33] What precedents existed in Brisbane and elsewhere for them to draw upon? I have noted that they were advised by Geology Department staff, including Whitehouse, who was probably also a friend,[34] but they would also have needed artistic models. The prevailing style of art in Brisbane at this time was very conservative.[35] The traditional academic training available there would have been an excellent preparation for the process of carefully constructing these murals depicting imaginary historical scenes. But what images of deep time might have been influential?

A brief history of paleoart

The earliest examples of palaeoart date from the first part of the nineteenth century and draw on a tradition of biblical imagery and conventions established in natural history illustrations,[36] and also animal portraiture. It developed in the context of momentous discoveries in geology.[37] While the idea of representing different stages in the history of the earth was influenced by the tradition of depicting the different days of creation as recounted in the Bible, awareness of the great age of the earth was developing along with a flexible notion of the time length of each 'day'. Fossils were initially understood as the remains of antediluvian creatures destroyed as a result of the Biblical Flood, but the idea of a single catastrophic flood was also being challenged by the geological record. Increasingly systematic approaches to geological research established the importance of careful recording of stratigraphy and it became apparent that different layers were characterised by different fossil remains.

In Paris, comparative anatomist Georges Cuvier (1769–1832) began the process of reconstructing extinct creatures from fossil remains. He also popularised the use of illustrations of these skeletal reconstructions. Eventually 'they became as a matter of routine the first stage in the reconstruction of complete prehistoric scenes'.[38] However, the inclusion of whole scenes from deep time in scientific works took some time to be accepted. The Geological Society in Britain frowned on speculative theories, so men of science who were anxious to preserve their professional reputations tended to avoid publishing anything that might be construed as speculative. For this reason Cuvier never published drawings where he had added a body outline and musculature to his reconstructed skeletons.[39] In other words, he eschewed publication of restorations of extinct creatures, drawings that show their 'alleged appearance during life'.[40]

Fig. 6. 
    Duria Antiquior (Ancient Dorsetshire), 1830
    hand-coloured lithograph by George Sharf (1788–1860), after an original drawing by Henry Thomas de la Beche (1796–1855)
Fig. 6. Duria Antiquior (Ancient Dorsetshire), 1830
hand-coloured lithograph by George Sharf (1788–1860), after an original watercolour by Henry Thomas de la Beche (1796–1855)
The first 'complete prehistoric scene' was painted by British geologist Henry Thomas de la Beche (1796–1855). His watercolour became the basis for a coloured lithograph entitled Duria Antiquior or Ancient Dorsetshire, produced in 1830 in order to stimulate business for fossil collector Mary Anning (1799–1847) during a period of economic downturn (Fig. 6). It is based on contemporary fossil discoveries that resulted in the identification of the ichthyosaur and the plesiosaur. Although the original lithograph was not widely distributed, it reappeared in various guises in subsequent publications, including more popular works aimed at a general audience. It presents an innovative and influential split view giving access to the scene above and below the water. Where this idea came from is unknown. Although similar to the viewing experience provided by aquariums, it predates their mid-century popularity and may instead be indebted to diving devices that were used in salvaging shipwrecks.[41] In spite of the central image of the ichthyosaur seizing the thin neck of the plesiosaur and the various other creatures that are either hunting or being eaten, even defecating, the style is informative rather than emotive.

Another view of the prehistoric past was offered by artist John Martin (1789–1854).[42] Martin had achieved renown with his apocalyptic images of death and disaster including representations of the Biblical flood.[43] His mezzotint, The Country of the Iguanodon, used by Gideon Mantell as the frontispiece for his Wonders of Geology (1838), introduced an unfamiliar atmospheric effect in prehistoric scenes with his prehistoric creatures depicted as terrifying monsters.[44] Another important development in the history of ideas about the prehistoric past was the creation of three-dimensional models of prehistoric creatures. In Britain Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins (1807–89) produced examples of dinosaurs under the advice of English comparative anatomist Richard Owen (1804–92), who invented the name 'dinosaur'.[45] In 1854 these still-surviving models were displayed in the grounds of the relocated Crystal Palace at Sydenham.[46] According to Stephen J Gould, they were responsible for the first instance of dinosaur-mania.[47]

In the case of painted or engraved images, the main conventions of the genre were established in the 1860s, with the illustrations included in The Earth before the Deluge (1863) by Guillaume Louis Figuier (1819–94) being especially influential. The artist Edouard Riou (1833–1900) represented different stages of evolution in a series of scenes in which a wide variety of creatures are gathered together. Such images were usually designed for popular appeal, frequently being used in literature aimed at children.[48]

Fig. 7. Illustration 25 from AS Romer,
     Man and the Vertebrates, Penguin, Harmondsworth, Middlesex, 1954 (1933), vol 1
Fig. 7. Upper Cretaceous Dinosaurs
Illustration 25 from AS Romer, Man and the Vertebrates, Penguin, Harmondsworth, Middlesex, 1954 (1933), vol. 1
More significant developments in palaeoart occurred in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, particularly in the United States.[49] Two influential figures in this process were Charles Robert Knight (1874–1953) in the late nineteenth century through to the mid-twentieth century and Rudolph Franz Zallinger (1919–95) in the mid to late twentieth century. Knight's career took off when he provided striking illustrations with pictorial restorations of dinosaurs for an article in Century Magazine in 1897.[50] Particularly influential were his images of Mammals and Their Extinct Relatives, painted for the American Museum of Natural History between 1911 and 1930. Although the website for the museum argues that these pictures were 'the first paintings of dinosaurs interacting in very dramatic ways', as we have seen, this is not true. They are, however, the first such images used in a museum context in order to convey contemporary scientific knowledge about past life on earth.[51] Impressionistic in style, they reflect the influence of Japanese art. According to the museum, 'Knight's artwork remains a magnificent example of early restorations of past life'.[52]
Fig. 8. 'Playasaurus place', recently furbished (2009) dinosaur display at the Queensland Museum
Fig. 8. 'Playasaurus place', recently furbished (2009) dinosaur display at the Queensland Museum
photograph by Kerry Heckenberg

Knight went on to paint scenes from deep time for many museums, including the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. The images for the Field received wide circulation when they were used as illustrations in Alfred Sherwood Romer's Man and the Vertebrates (first published in 1933).[53] Knight specialised in animal imagery, arguing in an article on the topic that 'Animal painting is a difficult art, more particularly if one is serious minded and not just dabbling with no real aspirations in any particular line'.[54] In summary, he writes:

Far more than in figure painting, therefore, it is necessary to know something of the anatomy of the creature you desire to portray, and you simply must acquaint yourself with the important points in its general physical make-up. But one must also have an insight into the psychology behind the animal's actions because this psychology is the controlling element in its emotional responses.[55]

This emotional intensity is evident in his palaeoimages, some of which, such as his encounter scene between Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops, were very influential (see Fig. 7). Indeed, this image is reproduced in the Dinosaur or 'Playasaurus' Garden at the Queensland Museum in Brisbane, re-opened in 2009 after refurbishment (see Fig. 8).

In WJT Mitchell's schematic outline of developments in dinosaur imagery, Knight is one of the pre-eminent artists of what he terms the classic dinosaur period and Zallinger is the other.[56] However, there are important differences between them. Zallinger introduced the continuous panorama of time (rather than discrete panels each representing a single moment) with his depiction of The Age of Reptiles mural in the Great Hall of the Peabody Museum at Yale University, painted between 1944 and 1947. The aim was to 'help the public envision as living animals the beasts that were represented by skeletons in the hall'.[57] The movement of time proceeded from right to left in accordance with the time sequence of the skeletons on display.[58] Zallinger also revived the fresco technique described by Cennino Cennini in the fifteenth century in his Craftsman's Handbook and in doing so drew on methods taught in Yale School of the Fine Arts with Lewis Edwin York as instructor between 1937 and 1950.[59] As Vincent Scully has argued, the linear style, closed forms and clear atmosphere derive from past exemplars such as Giotto.[60] The 'slow and solemn' movement of the creatures is also Giottesque, as well as reflecting contemporary ideas about dinosaurs.[61] Knight's pictures also convey such ideas, but some of his earlier dinosaur depictions, notably Leaping Laelaps of 1897, depict active, agile creatures.[62]
Fig. 9. Reptiles Inherit the Earth (detail), based on the mural The Age of Reptiles, by Rudolph Zallinger, Peabody Museum, Yale University
    from 'The world we live in', Life, 7 September 1953
Fig. 9. Reptiles Inherit the Earth (detail), based on the mural The Age of Reptiles, by Rudolph Zallinger, Peabody Museum, Yale University
from 'The world we live in', Life, 7 September 1953
Zallinger's images were circulated widely when they were included in Parts 5 and 6 of the Life magazine series The World We Live in, published between December 1952 and September 1954 in 11 parts. Part 5 came out in September 1953 under the title Two Billion Years of Evolution and included a fold-out illustration by Zallinger based on his 33.5-metre Peabody Museum mural (Fig. 9), plus others specially created for the magazine. The Age of Mammals was the theme of Part 6, dated 19 October 1953, and this included more Zallinger illustrations. An 18-metre-long mural version was produced for the Peabody between 1961 and 1967.
Subsequent developments in representations of scenes from deep time have reflected changing ideas about dinosaurs, most notably the idea of the feathered, active dinosaur that has developed in contrast to the ponderous slow creatures envisaged in the mid-twentieth century. Computer animations have also revolutionised the genre, with noteworthy examples being Jurassic Park (released in 1993) and Walking with Dinosaurs (1999). Such productions seem to offer the ultimate in revivification of extinct creatures. However, the former is a fictional drama whose realism is bolstered by illusionistic effects apparently underwritten by the authority of science, while the latter adopts the model of the natural history documentary to authenticate its message. Both obscure the uncertainties and presuppositions inevitably involved in attempts to visualise the distant past.[63] Furthermore, no present-day childhood is complete without massive exposure to numerous, often kitsch, dinosaur images.[64] Such changes have no doubt impacted on attitudes to the University of Queensland murals.
Cowen and Hole's Age of Reptiles
The University of Queensland murals were produced during a period that saw many images from deep time painted on the walls of museums overseas and circulated in influential publications. The name given to the 1951 mural, the sequence of prehistoric creatures of mainly North American origin and the continuous panoramic format together suggest that Zallinger's Peabody painting influenced the design and content of the murals. There are obvious differences: where the Peabody mural, responding to the museum's existing display of skeletons, records the passage of time from right to left, the University of Queensland pictures move forward in the more familiar way from left to right. The technique is also quite different in each case: instead of the linear, closed forms and clear atmosphere that result from Zallinger's Renaissance-inspired fresco technique, Hole and Cowen employ a more painterly, impressionist style using oil paint on concrete. The general approach may derive from Zallinger's work, but not the look of the University of Queensland picture, suggesting that, while the artists had heard about the Peabody mural, they had not actually seen any images of it.
Fig. 10. The Age of Reptiles (detail), 1951
    by Don Cowen and Quentin Hole
Fig. 10. The Age of Reptiles (detail), 1951
by Don Cowen and Quentin Hole
photograph by Kerry Heckenberg
The style and particular details of Hole and Cowen's work, such as the paradigmatic encounter between a savage Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops, are more akin to the work of Charles Knight (see Fig. 10). Hole and Cowen introduce their own variation by replacing Knight's background standing profile Tyrannosaurus rex with one of the creatures devouring prey. Nevertheless, there is not much movement or drama in the picture and the overall effect (in part because of the relatively small scale) is again pastoral rather than monstrous or dramatic. Other details, such as the Diplodocus standing in water in order to help support its enormous weight, reflect contemporary scientific opinion about how these dinosaurs must have functioned,[65] and volcanoes on the far right-hand side, presaging the extinction of the dinosaurs, are part of the general formula for such images. The latter are most prominent towards the end of Zallinger's mural.
Fig. 11. (below) Dinosaur display in the Queensland Museum, 1929 and (top) painting by Douglas S Annand
    Plate 29 from Heber A Longman, 'Palæontological Notes: Rhoetosaurus brownei', Memoirs of the Queensland Museum, 1929, facing p. 250
Fig. 11. (below) Dinosaur display in the Queensland Museum, 1929 and (top) painting by Douglas S Annand
Plate 29 from Heber A Longman, 'Palæontological Notes: Rhoetosaurus brownei', Memoirs of the Queensland Museum, 1929, facing p. 250

Closer to hand, the Queensland Museum and Heber Longman, its director between 1918 and 1945, provided some visual models.[66] Longman, a former journalist and newspaper owner as well as an enthusiastic amateur naturalist, developed expertise in palaeontology.[67] He was a keen promoter of the museum and its contents in local newspapers and he encouraged the use of images and illustration as an aid to display. In the 1920s he set up a display of the local herbivorous dinosaur, Rhoetsaurus brownei, which included a painting of the creature in its environment done by Douglas S Annand (1903–76), another local artist and graphic designer trained at the Central Technical College (Fig. 11).[68] Longman also established links with the University of Queensland, becoming a part-time lecturer in palaeontology and collaborating with Whitehouse,[69] so he is another possible source of advice for the artists.

The Age of Mammals in Australia
In Hole and Cowen's second mural, a group of Australian animals is pictured in a landscape similar to the Darling Downs region of Queensland. This was completed in December 1952 and bears comparison with the palaeoimages produced between 1951 and 1960 by British artist Neave Parker (1910–61). Working with the scientific advice of Dr William Swinton (1900–94) of the British Museum of Natural History, Parker depicted communities of prehistoric animals in their specific historical landscape setting.[70] This is in contrast to Zallinger who had included creatures from disparate areas in his Peabody panorama. Parker's pictures were widely circulated since they were reproduced in the Illustrated London News, but only one of his striking prehistoric images, The Scourge of the Dinosaurs (Fig. 12) was published before the end of 1952.[71]
Fig. 12. The Scourge of the Dinosaurs: A Giant Crocodile of 80,000,000 Years ago
    by Neave Parker
    from Illustrated London News, 22 December 1951, p. 1043

Fig. 12. The Scourge of the Dinosaurs: A Giant Crocodile of 80,000,000 Years Ago
by Neave Parker
from Illustrated London News, 22 December 1951, p. 1043

Hole and Cowen group together in their picture examples of marsupial megafauna, birds (including examples in the background of the giant flightless bird Genyornis) and reptiles, as well as a distant human figure. There were some precedents for depictions of megafauna, for example, Charles Knight produced a mural depicting Giant Pleistocene Marsupials (giant kangaroos and a pair of diprotodons) for the Field Museum before 1933 and this was included in Romer's publication.[72] Longman's influence is also evident: he worked on remains of many of the creatures depicted,[73] and it was perhaps his scientific advice that resulted in the changes that are evident between the oil sketch and the final image, particularly adjustments in size of the different creatures. Certainly his work in identifying and reconstructing Euryzygoma dunense lies behind the appearance of this rather engaging animal in the centre of the picture. A model was prepared by Wilfrid Morden for the Queensland Museum and photographs of it were used to illustrate Longman's 1934 publication on the creature, a relative of the diprotodon with extremely wide cheek bones probably supporting large cheek pouches (Fig. 13). Longman was evidently pleased with the reconstruction, saying: 'Although most attempts at reconstruction from incomplete remains are necessarily provisional and inadequate, the writer has pleasure in publishing illustrations of Mr. Morden's restoration of this very specialised and extraordinary marsupial'.[74] It is clearly the source of the University of Queensland image.

In a 1921 paper on Euryzygoma Longman comments:

In 1915, when describing a giant turtle from the Queensland Cretaceous formations, the writer ventured to forecast that, when our areas were better known, novelties rivalling the grotesque monsters of other lands would be exhumed In life, this mammal must have been bizarre as a monster in an artist's realm of phantasy.[75]
Fig. 13. Restoration of Euryzygoma dunense
    Plate 30 from Heber A Longman, Memoirs of the Queensland Museum, 1934, facing p. 202
Fig. 13. 'Restoration of Euryzygoma dunense'
Plate 30 from Heber A Longman, Memoirs of the Queensland Museum, 1934, facing p. 202

Journalist Clem Lack responded to Longman's ideas about the creature in a 1936 article on Longman and the museum, dubbing the creature 'Eury The Slobberer' and describing it as 'the weirdest fossil in the collection' and 'a bizarre marsupial type from the Cainozoic'.[76] However, although viewers may well be struck by its curious appearance, its apparently cheerful expression and the direction of its gaze make it appealing as well. It is also a convincing depiction: the naturalistic style deriving from Renaissance art with light and shade creating a three-dimensional effect on a two-dimensional surface is a rhetorical device as well as a representational one.[77]

Other adjustments in the final picture result in less 'pervasive predation' (replaced by imminent attack in the case of the thylacine and lungfish in the left foreground) and an overall slight reduction in clutter. Two reptiles, a large horned turtle (known as Meiolania oweni then, now renamed as Ninjemys oweni) and a giant carnivorous lizard, Megalania, are moved to centre stage, also an improvement. Megalania stands upright, with a bright blue tongue, while the turtle escapes the jaws of a giant crocodile in the sketch to be merely menaced by it in the final work. Again, both creatures appear to interrupt their activities in order to examine the viewer, as do the giant kangaroos in the left middle ground. Although overall the picture is static, the artists have introduced some movement by varying stances, avoiding too great a reliance on profile specimen-like poses. The sense that various attacks are about to take place adds a note of tension. The vibrant use of colour also attracts interest. This can be attributed solely to Hole and Cowen, since any possible sources such as Parker's newspaper illustrations based on his gouache and wash preparatory drawings or the Knight image included in Romer were black and white. It is a striking and unique picture and a significant achievement for the two artists as they prepared themselves to quit Brisbane for overseas.

King of the Sea
Fig. 14. Kronosaurus queenslandicus display at the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, being examined by Alfred S Romer and a research assistant
Fig. 14. Kronosaurus queenslandicus display at the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, being examined by Alfred S Romer and a research assistant
from HO Fletcher, 'A giant marine reptile from the Cretaceous rocks of Queensland' Australian Museum Magazine, June 1959, p. 47

The 1958 mural depicting Kronosaurus queenslandicus is the most accomplished of the three pictures, benefiting perhaps from Hole's trip to Europe, where he viewed art in England, France and Italy.[78] The choice of viewpoint, composition, scale and handling of paint are all very effective in conveying a dramatic image of this enormous, air-breathing marine reptile with teeth 'the size of bananas'.[79]

The project was initiated by Irene Longman (1877–1964), the wife of Heber Longman, and the first woman to be elected to the Queensland parliament, where she served as Member for Bulimba from 1929 to 1932.[80] In 1957 she wrote to the University of Queensland proposing a monetary donation for a Kronosaurus mural that would be situated in the Geology Museum. She stated that the work would be 'in memory of my husband' (who had died in 1954) and that she would be 'happy to pay for the work of the artists engaged if the cost is not beyond my capacity'. Accuracy was to be an essential ingredient:

It is, I know, unnecessary to suggest to you that the artists, who are not palaeontologists, should not introduce into the sketch (for artistic or other reasons) specimens belonging to other geological periods.[81]

This would be an appropriate memorial, since the fragmentary type specimen, held in the Queensland Museum, had been identified, christened and described by Longman in 1924. The name refers to the ancient Greek Titan Kronos who devoured his children.[82] The discovery was important in establishing Longman's reputation in spite of his lack of formal training in geology or palaeontology.[83] He seems to have regarded the creature as a particular favourite, recording further fragments in 1930.[84] In one 1936 newspaper article he describes Kronosaurus as 'a pliosaur, a terrible reptilian monster, half crocodile, half fish, which basked in the Cretaceous seas of Western Queensland'.[85] In a more popular vein, Longman declared: 'It must have been more terrible a reptile than [novelist] Zane Grey's "White Death Sharks" ... Without doubt ... King of the Sea'.[86]

Irene Longman had an immediate reason for choosing this creature for a memorial. In June 1958 the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology exhibited its enormous reconstructed skeleton of Kronosaurus, collected on a 1931–32 expedition to Queensland led by William E Schevill (Fig. 14). Longman had been invited to participate, but financial constraints at the museum meant that he was unable to take up this offer. Nevertheless, he was very happy to give advice and assistance to the American visitors.[87] A local landowner near Richmond in north-west Queensland, Ralph WH Thomas, was also helpful, directing them to the site on his property where the remains could be seen protruding from the ground. The skeleton, 'about two thirds complete', was dynamited out of the surrounding rock and about four tons of excavated material was taken back to Harvard where it was greeted with much acclaim.[88] Although the skull was quickly restored, the process of freeing the skeleton from the rock matrix did not commence until 1956 when it was sponsored by a wealthy local family with an interest in marine reptiles.[89] The final dramatic exhibit has the 12.8-metre reconstructed skeleton seemingly floating in a large glass case with missing pieces filled in with plaster. According to present-day scientific opinion, the overall length should be closer to 10 metres and the shape of the skull should be flatter.[90]

Heber Longman regretted the loss of this potential exhibit.[91] Furthermore, in the United States there was a general lack of acknowledgement of his role in identifying and naming Kronosaurus queenslandicus. Science News Letter triumphantly announced that 'THE ONLY complete 100-million-year-old fossil skeleton of what was once the largest flesh-eating reptile in the sea has been reconstructed at Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology, Cambridge'.[92] No mention was made of Longman or of any local help in locating the specimen; instead Schevill is celebrated as the discoverer of the creature.[93]

Plans for the reconstruction were long known in Queensland and there was dissatisfaction that Longman was being neglected. Indeed, under the heading 'WAS QUEENSLAND MONSTER', the Courier-Mail in April 1956 informed the public that 'Bones of a 50ft. sea monster, being restored in the U.S., were discovered in Queensland'.[94] In the article, University of Queensland Geology Professor, WH Bryan, describes the true circumstances of the discovery and naming of the creature, noting that the Harvard University collector 'was directed to the specimen' he collected, but also acknowledging that restoration of the specimen was beyond the financial capacity of local institutions.[95] The mural was well-advanced on 6 June 1958 when the Courier-Mail gave the local public 'A look at Kronosaurus Queenslandicus' just days before the unveiling of the Harvard reconstruction (details of which are contained in the article). Under a photograph of two staff members viewing the 'spectacular' picture, the sub-heading 'Local credit for monster' makes clear that the picture was part of the campaign to restore Longman's role in the story of Kronosaurus. Indeed, the article begins by stating, 'Queensland University has sent a firm reminder to America that the man who "discovered" and named the world's biggest marine reptile was a Queenslander' (in the form of a letter from Bryan to Harvard), and it goes on to recount the history of the finding and identification of the original specimen.[96]

Fig. 15. 'Restoration of Kronosaurus queenslandicus'
Fig. 15. 'Restoration of Kronosaurus queenslandicus'
by Wilfred Morden
from Memoirs of the Queensland Museum, vol. 10 no. 2, facing p. 98
In painting this mural Hole was returning to the origins of the genre of scenes from deep time: de la Beche's Ancient Dorsetshire from 1830 is a marine scene. While it does not contain a pliosaur, it does include plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs. The same creatures appear in one of the plates by Edouard Riou included in Figuier's 1867 Earth before the Deluge.[97] Numerous other scenes of giant marine reptiles were produced by other artists. Noteworthy examples include Knight's picture, Late or Upper Cretaceous Seas, Mesozoic Era, painted for the Field Museum;[98] another is Zallinger's The Reptiles Return to the Sea, part of the Life series published in 1953.[99] De la Beche's aquarium-like view is adopted by Zallinger, but not used by Riou or Knight. The completely underwater view is found in a Parker scene from the 1950s,[100] and also in a more specific local example, Wilfrid Morden's 1932 Restoration of Kronosaurus queenslandicus (see Fig. 15).
Unlike de la Beche, Hole does not indulge in unnatural crowding in his picture and, while there is menace in his image of Kronosaurus pursuing a school of fish with enormous mouth wide open, there is no actual picturing of eating. The ammonites swimming below the pliosaur in the left foreground are a more probable source of nourishment than the small fish, able to be crushed in those massive teeth along with other larger creatures such as giant squid and large reptiles, including plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs.[101] Again the depiction of living ammonites provides a contrast with de la Beche and others. Empty shells are more likely to be depicted in early marine scenes from deep time, either washed up on the shore or arrayed decoratively as a frame.[102] Morden's reconstruction seems to be the source of the idea for depicting several aspects of the creature and the totally underwater view, but Hole's mural is a more decorative and painterly work. He provides a complete underwater seascape with seaweed depicted with an engaging freedom of handling and delicate colour. It is probably not coincidental that he also includes a large skeleton lying on the sea bottom, thus ensuring the continuing presence of an enormous reconstructed skeleton in Queensland, even if the actual skeleton had escaped to Harvard!

When the vice-chancellor, JD Story, wrote to Mrs Longman in June 1958 thanking her for her donation as well as for her 'keen interest and practical help', he suggested that 'the mural will be of absorbing wonderment for countless visitors'. He also stated: 'To me, personally, the linking of your husband's names with the University is a great pleasure. As colleagues, our comradeship was long and close'.[103] Today there is no notice of the memorial function of the mural. Nor is it possible to view the image in its entirety, as it is bisected by a window with part in a corridor and the rest in a private office.

The Geology Museum in the Richards Building became a student laboratory in the later 1960s in response to a great influx of students at that time. A new museum was established in another building by the early 1970s. Space pressures are a constant problem at the University of Queensland, perhaps providing the most significant reason for abandoning the original setting for the murals; but changes in scientific conceptions of dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures probably also played a role. The pictures quickly became old-fashioned exemplars of outworn theories, especially the first mural, but they could still be the starting point for discussions about changes in scientific ideas. This approach is taken by the Queensland Museum in its Playasaurus Garden, where the illustration is supported by written texts to assist understanding. More marginalisation of the University of Queensland murals occurred in January 2003 when the space they occupied was turned into 'a modern fully refurbished area' for the Stable Isotope Geochemistry Laboratory. Although a 'special effort was made during refurbishment of the lab space to preserve the heritage-listed murals',[104] they remain hard to see.

The murals are significant heritage items, unique in Australia and valuable in the context of worldwide palaeoart. They deserve to be more easily viewed and better known.

This paper has been independently peer-reviewed.

Endnotes 1–30
This study was first presented as a research seminar in the School of English, Media Studies and Art History at the University of Queensland, 31 July 2009. I would like to thank the following individuals for their help in the course of researching this paper: Associate Professor Sue Golding (Earth Sciences and the Stable Isotope Geochemistry Laboratory, The University of Queensland), Dr Andrew Simpson (Macquarie University), Cassie Doyle and Margaret Rose (Fryer Library, The University of Queensland), and Megan Lyneham (University Archives, The University of Queensland).
1 Ray Roberts, 'It swam in the sea of Central Australia!', Queenslander, 28 May 1936, p. 9. Roberts is quoting Heber Longman, director of the Queensland Museum at that time.
2 ibid.
3 Allen A Debus & Diane E Debus, Paleoimagery: The Evolution of Dinosaurs in Art, McFarland, Jefferson, North Carolina and London, 2002, pp. 7–8.
4 Stephen Jay Gould, 'Preface: Reconstructing (and deconstructing) the past', in Stephen Jay Gould (ed.), The Book of Life, Ebury Hutchinson, London, 1993, 6–21, p. 9.
5 Dorothy Hill, 'The first fifty years of the Department of Geology of the University of Queensland', Papers of the Geology Department of the University of Queensland, vol. 10, no. 1, 1981, 1–68 (p. 1); see pp. 6, 8 for more information about Richards and his personality. See also Barry Woodworth, 'Geological research in Queensland', Semper Floreat, 4 August 1954, p. 3.
6 Hill, 'First fifty years', p. 31.
7 See 'University of Queensland, Great Court Complex', Cultural Heritage Register, Place ID 601025.
8 See Malcolm I Thomis, A Place of Light & Learning: The University of Queensland's First Seventy-Five Years, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, 1985, especially pp. 212–13.
9 Hill, 'First fifty years', pp. 35–6.
10 On Whitehouse, see Richard E Chapman, 'Whitehouse, Frederick William (1900–1973)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 16, Melbourne University Press, Carlton, Victoria, 2002, p. 538. Whitehouse began lecturing on palaeontology and stratigraphy in 1926, replacing WH Bryan who lectured on these topics between 1920 and 1926: Hill, 'First fifty years', p. 17. On Hill, see KSW Campbell & JS Jell, 'Dorothy Hill 1907–1997', Historical Records of Australian Science, vol. 12, no. 2, 1998,
11 Hill, 'First fifty years', pp. 17, 41 ('grievous blow').
12 FW Robinson, 'Obituary: John Muller', University of Queensland Gazette, June 1953, p. 10. See also HJ Summers, 'A German craftsman leaves his mark on St Lucia University', Courier-Mail, 17 November 1951, p. 2.
13 FW Robinson, The University of Queensland, St Lucia Brisbane, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, 1957, p. 25; on Robinson, teacher of English and German at the University of Queensland, see Nancy Bonnin, 'Robinson, Frederick Walter (1888–1971)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 11, Melbourne University Press, Carlton, Victoria, 1988, pp. 424–5.
14 Robinson, University of Queensland, p. 25.
15 Hill, 'First fifty years', p. 36. Note that the sandstone dinosaur frieze was used to adorn the cover of the Geology Department Papers.
16 Robinson, University of Queensland, p. 27.
17 ibid.
18 Martin JS Rudwick, Scenes from Deep Time: Early Pictorial Representations of the Prehistoric World, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London, 1992.
19 Information from WW2 Nominal Roll,
20 Exhibition of Queensland Art Catalogue: Queensland National Art Gallery, Brisbane 10th September to 7th October 1951, Commonwealth Jubilee Celebrations [1951] State Arts Sub-Committee, Brisbane, 1951, p. 11.
21 Information from WW2 Nominal Roll.
22 Exhibition of Queensland Art Catalogue, p. 16.
23 For information on the Marodian and Johnstone galleries, see the Johnstone Gallery Archive, State Library of Queensland; Louise Martin-Chew, '"Like Topsy": The Johnstone Gallery 1950–1972', Master of Creative Arts thesis, James Cook University, 2001.
24 Martin-Chew, '"Like Topsy"', p. 28 (Martin-Chew lists Don Gowen amongst the artists, commenting in brackets that this 'maybe Cowan', but it must be a misprint for 'Cowen').
25 Elizabeth Young, 'Two-man effort', Courier-Mail, 5 April 1951, p. 2.
26 ibid.
27 WL, 'Christmas art show', Courier-Mail, 11 December 1951, p. 2.
28 Letter dated 8 October 1951 from JL Treloar, director of the Australian War Memorial to Miss Daphne Mayo, Fryer Library, University of Queensland Library, Papers of Daphne Mayo, UGFL 119. Thanks to Cassie Doyle for this reference.
29 See Acquisitions 1951–1953, Queensland National Art Gallery, Brisbane, 1953, p. 4, no. 13: Daisy and Violet, Oil by Quentin Hole (Purchased by the trustees). Glenn Cooke's 'Notes' in the Queensland Art Gallery file on this artist record that Hole was included 'in the first exhibition of Queensland Artists of Fame and Promise in 1952'.
30 Cowen settled in Tucson, Arizona, and continued to produce artworks there, including a mural illustrating the history of science for the University of Arizona Optical Sciences centre: see
Endnotes 31-60
31 Gertrude Langer, 'A lively show of Queensland art', Courier-Mail, 5 June 1957, p. 2.
32 See Stephanie Owen Reeder, 'Quentin Hole (1923–99): Master of design and humour', Lou Rees Archives Notes, Books and Authors, no. 22, 2000, pp. 4–6; Marcie Muir, Australian Children's Book Illustrators, Sun Books, South Melbourne, 1977, p. 15; Marcie Muir, A History of Australian Childrens Book Illustration, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1982, p. 137; Robert Holden, Koalas, Kangaroos and Kookaburras: 200 Australian Children's Books and Illustrations 1857–1988, Bloxham and Chambers, Sydney, 1988, p. 48; and Walter McVitty, Authors & Illustrators of Australian Children's Books, Hodder and Stoughton, Sydney, 1989, p. 96.
33 Fryer Library, University of Queensland Library, UQFL 459.
34 Personal communication via email from Dr Andrew Simpson, 10 February 2009.
35 See Glenn R Cooke, A Time Remembered: Art in Brisbane 1950 to 1975, Queensland Art Gallery, South Brisbane, 1995, p. 34.
36 I am indebted to the work of Martin Rudwick in his Scenes from Deep Time in this section.
37 ibid., pp. 20; 27–30.
38 ibid., p. 32.
39 ibid., pp. 35–6; see also pp. 56–8; for more on Cuvier, see Debus & Debus, Paleoimagery, pp. 20–3.
40 See WE Swinton, Dinosaurs, Trustees of British Museum (Natural History), London, second edition, 1964 [1st edition 1962], pp. 38–9.
41 Rudwick, Scenes from Deep Time, pp. 43–8. On the aquarium craze and the development of the underwater viewpoint, see Stephen Jay Gould, Leonardo's Mountain of Clams and the Diet of Worms, Vintage, London, 1999, pp. 57–73 ('Seeing eye to eye, through a glass clearly').
42 See Rudwick, Scenes from Deep Time, pp. 21–4.
43 See William Feaver, The Art of John Martin, Clarendon, Oxford, 1975.
44 Rudwick, Scenes from Deep Time, pp. 78–82; see also Debus & Debus, Paleoimagery, pp. 24–31.
45 For a useful summary of Owen's background and approach, see Jacob W Gruber, 'Owen, Sir Richard (1804–1892)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2004,
46 Debus & Debus, Paleoimagery, p. 42; see pp. 42–7 ('Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins — a modern Pygmalion'); also Gould, 'Reconstructing (and deconstructing) the past', pp. 6–7.
47 Stephen Jay Gould, Bully for Brontosaurus: Further Reflections in Natural History, Penguin, London, 1991, p. 97.
48 Rudwick, Scenes from Deep Time, pp. 238–53; Gould, 'Reconstructing (and deconstructing) the past', pp. 16–17.
49 Debus & Debus, Paleoimagery, pp. 83–96.
50 William H Ballou, 'Strange creatures of the past: Gigantic saurians of the Reptilian Age', Century Magazine, vol. 55, no. 1, November 1897, 15–23. Many of Knight's images can be seen online at
51 Debus & Debus, Paleoimagery, p. 8.
52 'Personalities in paleontology: Charles Knight', available online from the American Museum of Natural History:; see also Debus & Debus, Paleoimagery, pp. 48–51; Gould, 'Reconstructing (and deconstructing) the past', pp. 17–19.
53 Alfred Sherwood Romer, Man and the Vertebrates, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1933.
54 Charles R. Knight, 'What are they thinking?', Natural History, February 1938,
55 ibid.
56 WJT Mitchell, The Last Dinosaur Book: The Life and Times of a Cultural Icon, University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London, 1998, p. 101.
57 Rudolph Zallinger, 'The making of The Age of Reptiles mural',; see also Debus & Debus, Paleoimagery, pp. 108–10.
58 Vincent Scully, 'THE AGE OF REPTILES as a work of art', in Vincent Scully et al., The Great Dinosaur Mural at Yale: The Age of Reptiles, Harry N Abrams, New York, 1990, pp. 14–15.
59 ibid., pp. 6–17.
60 ibid., pp. 6, 16.
Endnotes 61–90
61 ibid., p. 14.
62 ibid., p. 15.
63 For further discussion, see Andrew Darley, 'Simulating natural history: Walking with Dinosaurs as hyper-real edutainment', Science as Culture, vol. 12, no. 2, 2003, 227–56; Karen D Scott & Anne M White, 'Unnatural history? Deconstructing the Walking with Dinosaurs phenomenon', Media Culture Society, vol. 25, no. 3, 2003, 315–32.
64 See Gould, Bully for Brontosaurus, pp. 94–103 ('The dinosaur rip-off').
65 This idea began in the late nineteenth century with OC Marsh's reconstruction of Brontosaurus: see Gould, Bully for Brontosaurus, pp. 88–9; Gould, 'Reconstructing (and deconstructing) the past', pp. 12–13.
66 The museum was situated in the former Exhibition Building from late 1899 until 1984: Patricia Mather, A Time for a Museum: The History of the Queensland Museum 1862–1986, Queensland Museum, Brisbane [published as vol. 24 of the Memoirs of the Queensland Museum], 1986, pp. 22–33.
67 JCH Gill, 'Longman, Albert Heber (1880–1954)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 10, Melbourne University Press, Carlton, Victoria, 1986, pp. 138–9.
68 Bettina Macauley, 'Annand, Douglas Shenton (1903–1976)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 13, Melbourne University Press, Carlton, Victoria, 1993, p. 60; Heber A Longman, 'Palæontological notes', Memoirs of the Queensland Museum, vol. 9, no. 3, 1929, pp. 247–51. See also Heber A Longman, 'The giant dinosaur: Rhoetosaurus brownei', Memoirs of the Queensland Museum, vol. 9, no.1, 1927, 1–18. However, current opinion considers that the reconstruction is 'flawed in many ways': Notes on the painting, Registration Number H19511, Queensland Museum Records.
69 Hill, 'First fifty years', p. 25, notes that 'Longman gave 5 special lectures a year on vertebrate palaeontology from 1939 onwards'; see also Susan Turner, 'Vertebrate palaeontology in Queensland', Earth Sciences History, vol. 5, no. 1, 1986, 50–65; Susan Turner, 'Heber Albert Longman (1880–1954), Queensland Museum scientist: A new bibliography', Memoirs of the Queensland Museum, vol. 51, no. 1, 2005, 237–57 (p. 242).
70 Debus & Debus, Paleoimagery, 111–14.
71 See Illustrated London News, 22 December 1951, p. 1043. This is the only such scene I found looking through the extensive, albeit slightly incomplete, holdings of this newspaper for the period 1951–52 in the State Library of Queensland. Some dioramas of 'Extinct prehistoric sea creatures' 'Re-created for Chicago Museum' were illustrated on p. 707 of the issue dated 3 November 1951, while an assemblage of Australian marsupials (not an integrated scene) drawn and painted by Parker appeared in a double-page spread in the issue for 29 March 1952, pp. 548–9.
72 AS Romer, Man and the Vertebrates, Penguin, Harmondsworth, Middlesex, 1954 (1933), vol. 1, Illustration 50.
73 Turner, 'Heber Albert Longman (1880–1954)', p. 238. For a history of discovery and identification of Darling Downs fossil remains, see Susan Turner, 'Vertebrate palaeontology in Queensland' (pp. 51–4).
74 Heber A Longman, 'Restoration of Euryzygoma dunense', Memoirs of the Queensland Museum, vol. 10, no. 4, 1934, 201–02 (p. 201).
75 Heber A Longman, 'A new genus of fossil marsupials', Memoirs of the Queensland Museum, vol. 7, no. 2, 1921, 65–79 (p. 65). It might be argued that Longman is ignoring here the long history of discovery of prehistoric creatures in Australia, but his emphasis probably concerns the very unusual appearance of this animal. For the historical background, see Patricia Vickers-Rich & Neil W Archbold, 'Squatters, priests and professors: A brief history of vertebrate palaeontology in Terra Australis', in P Vickers-Rich, JM Monaghan, RF Baird & TH Rich, Vertebrate Palaeontology of Australasia, Pioneer Design Studio, Lilydale, Victoria, in association with Monash University Publications, 1991, pp. 1–43.
76 Clem Lack, 'Musing round the museum: Mr. Longman is proud of the skeletons in his cupboard', Courier-Mail, 10 October 1936, p. 23.
77 See Martin Kemp, 'Temples of the body and temples of the cosmos: Vision and visualization in the Vesalian and Copernican revolutions', in Brian S Baigrie (ed.), Picturing Knowledge: Historical and Philosophical Problems Concerning the Use of Art in Science, University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 1996, pp. 40–85; and David Topper, 'Towards an epistemology of scientific illustration', in ibid., pp. 215–49.
78 McVitty, Authors & Illustrators, p. 96.
79 'Kronosaurus queenslandicus',
80 Mary O'Keeffe, 'Longman, Irene Maud (1877–1964)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 10, Melbourne University Press, Carlton, Victoria, 1986, pp. 139–40.
81 Information from the University of Queensland Archives: UQA S15 Minutes of the Buildings and Grounds Committee, 23 September 1957.
82 Heber A Longman, 'A new gigantic marine reptile from the Queensland Cretaceous: Kronosaurus queenslandicus new genus and species', Memoirs of the Queensland Museum, vol. 8, no. 1, 1924, 26–8.
83 Turner, 'Heber Albert Longman (1880–1954)', p. 241.
84 Heber A Longman, 'Kronosaurus queenslandicus: A gigantic Cretaceous pliosaur', Memoirs of the Queensland Museum, vol. 10, no. 1, 1930, 1–7.
85 Lack, 'Musing round the museum', p. 23.
86 Roberts, 'It swam in the sea of Central Australia!', p. 9.
87 Mather, Time for a Museum, pp. 58, 140.
88 See 'Australian fossils for the Harvard Museum', Science, vol. 77, no. 1992, 3 March 1933, 232–3 (p. 233).
89 Alfred Sherwood Romer & Arnold D Lewis, 'A mounted skeleton of the giant plesiosaur Kronosaurus', Breviora, no. 112, October 1959, 1–15 (p. 2). Arnold Lewis directed the process of reconstruction, with work being carried out by James A Jensen and David Fuller, while Romer was the scientific advisor.
90 For further discussion, see PV Rich & GF van Tets (eds), Kadimakara: Extinct Vertebrates of Australia, Pioneer Design Studio, Lilydale, Victoria, 1985, pp. 147–51; Allen A Debus, 'Kronosaurus — an imaginary sea monster that got away', in Debus & Debus, Paleoimagery, pp. 13–19; and John A Long, Dinosaurs of Australia and New Zealand, UNSW Press, Sydney, 1998, pp. 138–42. Recent advice from Dr Alex Cook of the Queensland Museum states that there is only one species of Kronosaurus: personal communication via email, 11 March 2009.
Endnotes 91–104
91 Mather, Time for a Museum, pp. 140–1; Turner, 'Vertebrate palaeontology in Queensland' (p. 60).
92 'Ancient fossil exhibited', Science News Letter, 14 June 1958, p. 373. See also 'Ancient monarch of the seas', Natural History Magazine, June 1959, 22–23,
93 'Ancient fossil exhibited', p. 373. For the response in 1933, see 'Australian fossils for the Harvard Museum', Science, vol. 77, no. 1992, 3 March 1933, pp. 232–3.
94 'Was Queensland monster', Courier-Mail, 27 April 1956, p. 5.
95 ibid.
96 'A look at Kronosaurus Queenslandicus', Courier-Mail, 6 June 1958, p. 3. When Romer and Lewis published a scientific paper on the reconstructed skeleton in 1959 they did include details of Longman's role and that of the local resident ('A mounted skeleton of the giant Plesiosaur Kronosaurus', pp. 1–15) as did an article published in 1959 in the Australian Museum Magazine (although the role of the local landowner is not acknowledged): HO Fletcher, 'A giant marine reptile from the Cretaceous rocks of Queensland', Australian Museum Magazine, vol. 13, no. 2, 1959, 47–9.
97 Plate 15: Ideal Scene of the Lias with Ichthyosaurus and Plesiosaurus.
98 Reproduced as Illustration 41 in Romer, Man and the Vertebrates, vol. 1, 1954.
99 See The Reptiles Return to the Sea, in 'The world we live in: Part V: Two billion years of evolution', Life, 7 September 1953.
100 Neave Parker, Macroplata, a Plesiosaur (postcard), British Museum of Natural History, London, 1950s.
101 Entry on 'Queensland Kronosaur' available online from the Australian Museum:; see also For a recent scientific discussion of Kronosaurus, see Benjamin P Kear, 'Cretaceous marine reptiles of Australia: A review of taxonomy and distribution', Cretaceous Research, vol. 24, 2003, 277–303 (pp. 291–3).
102 Gould, 'Reconstructing (and deconstructing) the past', pp. 10–11.
103 Letter dated 18 June 1958 from JD Story to Mrs I Longman, The University of Queensland Archives: UQA S130 – File – Murals – St. Lucia Buildings.
104 'SIGL NEWS',