I really like this post from Matt Wedel, reminiscing about a book that made a big difference to his start on the path toward paleontology: “The New Dinosaur Dictionary, Mark Hallett, and the best Christmas present ever”.
“By Mark Hallett.” I didn’t know who this Hallett guy was, but his art was all over the book, along with William Stout and some guy named Robert T. Bakker and a host of others who were exploding my conception of what paleo art could even be. Anyway, this Mark Hallett was someone to watch, not only because he got mentioned by name a lot, but because his art had a crisp quality that teetered on some hypercanny ridge between photorealism and scribbling. His sketches looked like they might just walk off the page.
It’s a nice reminder of how important art can be to scientists. The comments include other scientists remembering some other valuable books.