…the diplodocus. I went west today to Glasgow to see the Leonardo da Vinci drawings at the Kelvingrove Museum with S&R (as well as having lunch and a blether). The drawings – twelve in all – are being shown as one of twelve simultaneous exhibitions to mark the 500th anniversary of his death. Now, you can call me a philistine, but the drawings were rather small and dark (which wasn’t a complete surprise, actually). 80 drawings will be coming to the Queen’s Gallery at Holyrood Palace in November, so if you live in the Edinburgh area, it might be worth waiting for them.
I have to say that Dippy (who we happened upon by chance) rather eclipsed Leonardo. There was some information at the Kelvingrove, from which we learnt that that he is one of several plaster casts based on a skeleton discovered at the end of the 19th century in Wyoming. The original skeleton is in the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh. Several casts of Dippy were donated by Andrew Carnegie to European museums at the beginning of the 20th century as some kind of world peace effort – which wasn’t too successful, as things turned out!
I subsequently found out that Dippy is the world’s most famous dinosaur skeleton because of the casts and is said to have made "dinosaur" a household word. I had assumed that “Dippy” was a name that had been given to the cast in the Kelvingrove in an effort to make him more child-friendly, but not a bit of it – Dippy is the official name of the original skeleton. You can check him out in Wikipedia here.
One thing that I didn't find out was how much of the initial reconstruction was real and how much had been made up. It seems that Dippy is actually composed of more than one skeleton and presumably any missing bits have been filled in.