A Decade of Delight

August 25, 2011 at 3:45 pm Leave a comment

While the party took place August 20-21, 2011, today marks the official 10th anniversary of the grand opening of Giants of the Mesozoic. Inspired not only by presenting history, but also with making history, from January 2000 through August 2001, Fernbank Museum pieced together—drawing by drawing, then bone by bone—this permanent exhibition featuring the world’s largest dinosaurs.

There’s a lot of history crammed into those 10 years since opening day, more than we could possible contain in one blog post. So, we’ll let our pictures tell the story of bringing these mighty Mesozoic stars to Fernbank Museum.

Conceptual Drawing

Argentinosaurus Dig Site

Paleontologist Rodolfo Coria

Did you know? The first Dinosaur Birthday Bash, offered in celebration of the one-year anniversary of Giants of the Mesozoic, was held August 24-25, 2002. The event has been offered every year in August since then and has become one of the Museum’s most popular family activity days.

Work in progress

Did you know? Fernbank Museum was the first museum in the world to erect a fully-mounted skeleton of Argentinosaurus.

Work on the rear legs of Argentinosaurus.

Work on Giganotosaurus.

My, what big teeth he has.

Did you know? Construction on Argentinosaurus was briefly halted on March 1, 2001 for President George W. Bush to hold a tax-plan rally at Museum.

Presidential visit

Completed Argentinosaurus

Fernbank Museum President and CEO Susan Neugent speaking at ribbon cutting ceremony, August 25, 2001.

Did you know? During the dedication of Giants of the Mesozoic, a time capsule was placed in the rockwork base beneath Argentinosaurus. It contains items related to the exhibition, including early conceptual, a copy of the WSB-TV documentary Land of the Giants and a collection of media coverage documenting the worldwide attention Fernbank received as a result of the exhibition.

Postcard from early advertising campaign.

Cover of Fall 2001 Museum Newsletter

Did you know? Professor Rodolfo Coria, the paleontologist who excavated and researched Argentinosaurus (and Giganotosaurus) had not seen a fully-mounted skeleton until the construction at Fernbank was completed. When asked how it felt to see the completed project, he responded “Like seeing an old friend, whose face you haven’t seen in a long, long time.

Giants of the Mesozoic

Do you have a Giants of the Mesozoic memory or photo to share? Send it to marketing@fernbankmuseum.org or post on our Facebook page.

—Deanna Smith, Director of Marketing


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At Fernbank Museum, there’s much more than dinosaurs and giant-screen films. Even with our website, e-newsletters, Facebook pages and Twitter updates, there’s still a lot we’d like to share with you. This blog is an opportunity for the people that keep Fernbank running and constantly expanding, to share stories from their point of view. We hope you’ll enjoy these first-hand, behind-the-scenes glimpses of what goes into keeping a world-class natural history museum running. As always, we’d love to hear your feedback on these stories, to hear your personal experiences and hear any suggestions for topics. Happy reading!

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