First published in 1946, Charles R. Knight’s Life Through the Ages was for many a beloved first look at the strange animals of the prehistoric past. For much of the 20th century, Knight’s reconstructions were the key resource for popular images of ancient life. His paintings and drawings were displayed as part of museum exhibits, notably at the American Museum of Natural History in New York and the Field Museum in Chicago, were used as illustrations in numerous books and magazine articles, and even influenced movie portrayals of dinosaurs and other prehistoric beasts. Knight’s work was highly regarded both for its artistic skill and for its scientific accuracy, closely based as it was on the knowledge of its time. Although new discoveries and ongoing research have changed the view of many of the animals depicted by Knight, his work remains valuable and is still treasured by the new generations of scientists and paleoartists.
For this Commemorative Edition, many of Knight’s original drawings were re-photographed. A new Foreword by Stephen Jay Gould reflects on Knight’s work, and a new Introduction by Philip J. Currie discusses recent scientific findings and Knight’s restorations.