Major Hernert M. Dawley: An Artist’s Life: Dinosaurs, Movies, Show-Biz, & Pierce-Arrow Automobiles by Stephen A. Czerkas
Paperback – The Dinosaur Museum – 2016 – 348 pages
Major Herbert M. Dawley (1880-1970) was a true “Renaissance Man” in the creative arts: Painter, Sculpter, Inventor and Engineer for the Pierce-Arrow Motorcar Company, Photographer, Theater and Film Producer/Director, Screenwriter, Actor, Puppeteer, Author, and Animator.
In addition to directing over 400 plays, his work in motion pictures resulted in a series of silent era live action films for the Metropolitan Museum of Art and a series of religious films, along with 35+ silhouette animation short subjects. Significantly, Dawley was an innovator of stop-motion model animation and his landmark silent films, The Ghost of Slumber Mountain (1921) and Along the Moonbeam trail (1921) paved the way for giants in the field such as Willis O’Brien (King Kong) and Ray Harryhausen (The 7th Voyage of Sinbad).
Dinosaur scultper, animator, and paleontologist Stephen Czerkas spent over a decade researching the remarkable life and multi-faceted career of Herbert Dawley, and this book compiles Dawley’s paintings, sculptures, animated films, and rich personal history, including Dawley’s commission as a Major in the New Jersey State Militia. Dawley’s personal diaries from 1958 to 1970 provide a fascinating time capsule as he reflects on everything from the Kennedy assassination to the Apollo space program.
Stroll down Moonbeam Trail to Slumber Mountain for an unprecedented look at a bygone era as seen through the unique eyes of artist and innovator Major Herbert M. Dawley, affectionately reffered to by his many friends as “our beloved Maje”.