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Forensic Artist Brings History To Life

by Emily Binetti, SHSU

The Sam Houston Memorial Museum is partnering with forensic artist, Amanda Danning, in learning about the soldiers that fought at the Battle of San Jacinto in 1836. With Danning’s help, the San Jacinto Project aims to put faces on five of the soldiers from the Mexican army led by Santa Anna. She will manipulate clay to construct a detailed representation of how the soldiers may have looked using medical models made from the actual skulls of the soldiers. The public is invited to watch and learn about this process, April 17-20.

Danning has gained international recognition as a forensic sculptor.  She has been commissioned by and worked with the Smithsonian Institute on several occasions.  Her facial reconstructions have been the subject of exhibits at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., other museum exhibits, History Channel specials and National Geographic programs.  Since 2010, her work has been featured in four books on forensics and now graces the cover of Kennewick Man by Dr. Douglas Owsley, Division Head of Anthropology and Head of Forensic Anthropology at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.

Danning speaks throughout Texas on the historical figures who are subjects of her forensic work and on the subject of sculpture.  Her presentations have set attendance records at several venues from Canyon, Texas to Beaumont.  

“The Sam Houston Memorial Museum is pleased to be working in partnership with Danning to learn more about the Battle of San Jacinto through the use of forensic sculpture,” Casey Roon, curator of exhibits said.

Three sessions of the San Jacinto Project will take place April 17-20 at 9 a.m.10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Katy & E. Don Walker, Sr. Education Center (1402 19th Street).

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