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The Evolution of the Human Form

September 18, 2019, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Register for Free E-tickets


The lecture

For centuries, the human form has been the subject of intense exploration by artists. Now science has extended the field for such work by revealing the human form’s precursors, and how these puzzle pieces fit to reveal the human form’s coming-to-be. John Gurche’s new book, Lost Anatomies: The Evolution of the Human Form, is a large format art book published by Abrams, built around a collection of drawings and paintings 27 years in the making, which explore the aesthetic aspects of this evolution.

In this talk, Gurche will take you through the evolution of the human form using images from the book. He will also discuss the detective work behind his reconstruction (pictured at left) of the newest major discovery of an ancient human ancestor, Australopithecus anamensis.



The speaker

John Gurche is one of the world’s best-known paleo-artists working today to bring ancient creatures to life. Trained in anthropology and paleontology, Gurche is often the artist chosen by National Geographic to help introduce newly discovered human ancestors to the world by reconstructing their faces (12 issues, including four covers). Fifteen of his sculptures are featured in the Smithsonian’s Hall of Human Origins. Gurche was chosen by Steven Spielberg to do pre-production art for the movie Jurassic Park, and by the US Postal Service to create art for their 1989 dinosaur stamps. His new book is titled Lost Anatomies: The Evolution of the Human Form. He is currently building a face for a newly discovered human ancestor, to be announced in late 2019.

Book signing

A meet-and-greet book signing will immediately follow the lecture. Copies of Lost Anatomies will be available for purchase at the event courtesy of Rainy Day Books. To pre-order a copy of Lost Anatomies, call 913.384.3126 or visit Rainy Day Books at 2706 W. 53rd Street in Fairway, Kansas.

Admission tickets

The event is free and open to the public; however, e-tickets are required.


The main entrance to the Library grounds is on Cherry Street. Parking is free in Library parking lots and along the west side of Holmes Street between 51st and 52nd streets. The Linda Hall Library is not affiliated with UMKC. Parking in all UMKC lots is by permit or meter. Doors open at 6:00 p.m.


September 18, 2019
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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Linda Hall Library
5109 Cherry
Kansas City, MO 64110 United States


Eric Ward

Questions? Contact Eric Ward at 816.926.8753 for more information about these events.

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