“Mythic Creatures: And the Impossibly Real Animals Who Inspired Them” is a book from the American Museum & Natural History that is adapted from a exhibition curated by Laurel Kendall & Mark A. Norell with Richard Ellis and the Exhibition Department of the museum.
This beautiful hardback book is chock-full of illustrations and pictures of artifacts that demonstrate various mythological creatures and draws connections between some animals found in nature. It is remarkable to see the similarities across cultures and eras and the historical record of myths such as sea serpents, dragons, unicorns. I have always been intrigued by the idea of these creatures and this book has great representations of the myriad of occurrences that have permeated world cultures.
I think this is a beautiful collection of material connected by its relationship to mythical creatures. It is divided into the spheres of sea, land, and air, with a separate division for dragons. Aside from the subject matter, which I love, this is also a wonderful representation of the beautiful artwork and artifacts that represent a broad spectrum of cultures and societies throughout the ages.
This is a great addition to any library and a fantastic educational tool that will enhance appreciation of culture, the arts, and of the written tales that explore myths and their connection to the society of that period.
Adapted from the American Museum of Natural History exhibition Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns & Mermaids, this book explores an array of mythological creatures—and the real animals that inspired them. Lush photos showcase rare objects from around the world as well as models of mythical beasts like krakens and Rocs, along with fossils of actual extinct animals such as the six-foot-tall primate called Gigantopithecus and dinosaurs such as Protoceratops, which may have inspired the griffin. Also included are engravings, paintings, maps, and ephemera from the Middle Ages to modern times, all capturing the origins of legendary animals that continue to thrill, terrify, and enchant us.