Field of Science

What I am Reading: Charming the Bones - A portrait of Margaret Matthew Colbert

I'm usually reading (or attempting to read) several books at any one time but the book that really has my attention right now is Charming the Bones - A portrait of Margaret Matthew Colbert by Ann Brimacombe Elliot.



Margaret Colbert was the granddaughter of botanist and geologist George Frederic Matthew, the daughter of vertebrate paleontologist William Diller Matthew, and the wife of vertebrate paleontologist Edwin Harris Colbert, as well as an artist in her own right. She illustrated Ned Colbert's doctoral dissertation and many of his books.  She also completed Triassic themed murals for the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and the Petrified Forest National Park, as well as a Cretaceous mural for Big Bend National Park in Texas.  She also designed the logo for the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology.

Margaret Colbert's mural on exhibit at the Rainbow Forest Museum at Petrified Forest National Park (photo by Karen Sweeny-Justice)
Interestingly her biography is written by Ann Brimacombe Elliot, who is the wife of geologist David H. Elliot who conducted important fieldwork with Ned Colbert in the 1960s.

Ned Colbert wrote two autobiographies which are essential reading for any vertebrate paleontologist, but I also urge you to read Margaret Colbert's biography as well and witness what an amazing woman she was.

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