William Stout Murals Presentation and Book Signing at the San Diego Natural History Museum, Saturday, March 21, starting at Noon!


The San Diego Natural History Museum is hosting a special presentation and book signing by William Stout. Come celebrate the release of his new book, William Stout: Prehistoric Life Murals on Saturday, March 21. Stout’s presentation begins at noon at the main theater, followed immediately by the book signing in front of the museum store.

The William Stout program and lecture are free with Museum admission, either General Admission or with tickets to the BODY WORLDS exhibition which includes General Admission.  Admission tickets may be purchased in advance online at www.sdnhm.org or at the Museum.

The primary focus of a new art book, William Stout: Prehistoric Life Murals, is on the California painter’s recent creation of the twelve murals for the San Diego Natural History Museum’s Fossil Mysteries exhibit. The book also includes his mural work for the Houston Museum of Natural Science and Walt Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

This lavishly illustrated new art book features paintings that reconstruct life from its earliest appearances on this planet on up to 2000 years ago.

“I believe that murals are one of the scientists’ conduits to the public,” said Stout. “Artists can translate difficult scientific concepts into powerful, easy-to-grasp visuals for the public. They can function as a great teaching tool.”

In addition to featuring the finished murals unobstructed by their exhibit settings, Stout’s roughs and color studies illuminate in fine detail the thought processes and visual steps that went into the creation of each finished mural.

“I want the public to embrace each mural that I paint with a sense of regional pride,” said Stout. “One of the ways in which I accomplish this is by including well known local landmarks in the paintings whenever and wherever possible. My goal is to have my depictions change the way people see their familiar surroundings.”

As an example, Stout pointed out that some of the Fossil Mysteries murals include Cuyamaca Peak.

The highly readable text is surprisingly personal; Stout even makes mention of the cancer that delayed his completion of the San Diego murals. Stout generously credits all the scientists, artists, sculptors, craftspeople, museum personnel, photographers, institutions and family who helped him out with the murals; there are several reproductions of drawings by SDNHM staffer Jim Melli.

“I wanted to make it patently obvious that large murals depicting prehistoric life are never the work of just one person,” said Stout.

The museum is proud to present and support William Stout: Prehistoric Murals as the perfect book for budding (or even professional) artists, people with an interest in prehistoric life and dinosaurs, as well as folks with an interest and pride in the San Diego area’s rich biological legacy.

Stout, William William Stout: Prehistoric Life Murals Santa Cruz: Flesk Publications, 2009, 144 pp., $39.95. Introduction by Ray Harryhausen.
The copies of the book for sale at the San Diego Natural History Museum include an extra full color book plate signed by the author. It was created especially and solely for the museum by Mr. Stout.