Wally the stegosaurus gets a makeover

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GERMANTOWN, N.Y. (NEWS10)—For the last 23 years, Wally has been out in the rain, snow, and summer heat at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Mass. In April, Wally boarded a flatbed truck for the drive to Germantown, where David Merritt, grandson of Louis Paul Jonas, could work on Wally’s restoration.

When Merritt opened up Wally, they found the steal frame in remarkable shape and didn’t need to repair it.

Due to the pandemic, Merritt was unable to travel until late August.  Once here and after quarantining, Merritt and his son Avery started work on Wally.

Before the last step in Wally’s makeover, minor repairs were made to the tail. Now, all that is left is a long-lasting fresh coat of paint. Once finished, Wally can head back to his home in front of the Berkshire Museum. Merritt feels Wally should get a makeover every five to ten years.

This is the second time the Jonas Studio and Merritt have worked on Wally.  In 1997 Wally came back to the studio he was created in for a much-needed overhaul.  Wally spent 30 years at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

Avery Merritt touches up the grey primer on Wally’s tail on Wednesday.

“Cleveland wanted a new one,” Merritt said. “Many of the plates were missing. The spikes were missing, and he was really in rough shape.”

Using the original molds, the Jonas Studio built a new stegosaurus for the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. They brought Wally back from Cleveland to the Hudson studio and went to work. After being repaired and repainted, Wally went to his new home in Pittsfield.

Tape is used to protect Wally’s glass eyes.

The museum is planning on a return date of October 15 for Wally.

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