Trends

Wilensky Gallery to Host Fossil Art Exhibition

TrendsFeb 28, 2019

Wilensky Gallery to Host Fossil Art Exhibition

Starting in May, the New York gallery will display and sell several rare fossils from a prehistoric lake in Wyoming.

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This is the Green River Stone Crocodile, a fossil of the Borealosuchus wilsoni crocodile from the Eocene period and one of the highlights of Wilensky Gallery’s upcoming exhibition. (Image courtesy of Wilensky Gallery and Green River Stone Company)

New York—This summer, one New York gallery will display and sell several rare fossils from a prehistoric lake in southwestern Wyoming.

During the early Eocene Epoch, some 50 million years ago, drainage from the newly created Rocky Mountains pooled in a basin in Southwestern Wyoming to form what geologists call Fossil Lake, a sub-tropical freshwater lake home to several plant and animal species.

The lake, now part of the Green River Formation, dried up millions of years ago and petrified, leaving a quarry of fossils telling the story of what life there used to be like.

The fossils are being removed by the Green River Stone Company, a leading expert in fossil preparation and preservation. This summer, approximately 25 will be on display in New York.

“Ancient Treasures: Fossils from The Eocene” will run at the Wilensky Gallery from May 9 to Aug. 3, highlighting important pieces from the Eocene Epoch’s natural creations in Wyoming.

The exhibition will include two rare and historic turtle fossils, one of which is from the hard-shell Baenidae family of cryptodiran turtles, which first appeared during the Jurassic period and became extinct during the Eocene.

The fossil is of Arenosa, the rarer of the two Baenidae species, and is one of only a handful of complete adult fossils found before.

Additionally, the gallery also will have the giant fossil soft-shell turtle Axestemys byssinus on display.

Less than 25 complete fossils of that turtle type have ever been found; this particular specimen is 95 percent complete.

Another notable piece is the Green River Crocodile. The Borealosuchus wilsoni crocodile measures 13 feet 5 inches long and is wall mounted to support its 1,000-pound weight.

The crocodile is articulated, which is rare for a large-bodied creature, and includes multiple sets of large and small teeth, perfectly arranged dorsal scutes, a protruding spine and partially exposed ribs.

“We are very excited to be the exclusive New York City gallery to display the very finest examples of the famous Green River Wyoming fossils,” said Stuart Wilensky, president of Wilensky Fine Minerals.

“The pieces that will be on display are our only view into life from Earth's past. Surrounded by these ancient extinct creatures is the closest we will ever get as humans to time travel. Staring into the face of a 50 million-year-old crocodile, or a giant turtle larger than most humans, is surreal.”

Every fossil on display will be available for purchase, offering a unique opportunity for collectors. Prices range from $5,000 to $1 million.

“Ancient Treasures: Fossils from The Eocene” runs from May 9 to Aug. 3, Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Wilensky Gallery (173 10th Avenue). The gallery will hold an opening event on Thursday, May 9 from 6 to 8 p.m.

For more information, contact the gallery at 646-822-0837, info@wilenskyminerals.com or visit WilenskyMinerals.com.

Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

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