American Museum of Natural History. Felix M. Warburg Memorial Hall of New York State Environment.

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Exist Dates

1951 - present

Biographical or Historical Note

abstract
Permanent exhibition. Opened 1951. Located on the First Floor, Section 3. Planning and construction began in 1948 along with the Hall of North American Forests and a planned but never completed Botany Hall (1, 1948-1949, p. 10). The Felix M. Warburg Memorial Hall of New York State Environment at the American Museum of Natural History covers humans’ relationship to nature, using nearby Dutchess County as a study. The hall was dedicated in memory of Trustee Frederick “Felix” Warburg (1, 1949-1950, p. 5). Farida A. Wiley of the Department of Public Instruction was consulted on the hall’s development (1, 1955-1956, p. 27).

The Felix M. Warburg Memorial Hall of New York State Environment was created as part of a “new approach” (1, 1949-1950, p. 4) to the study and man and the environment. The Museum promoted the study of natural history—the study of life and the world around us—as to essential to educating citizens in a democracy to survive “ever threatening totalitarian ‘isms” in the post-World War II world (1, 1949-1950, p. 4). Part of this mission was sought in its new Landscape Hall, which aims to show the relationship between humans and their environment, how nature influences human activities, and how nature is modified by human activities (1, 1957-1958, p. 10).

Designed for children, particularly urban children whose contact with nature was considered limited, the hall focuses on Pine Plains and Stissing Mountain in Dutchess County, areas with mountains, lakes, forests, rock formations, and both wild and cultivated land. The hall’s exhibits illustrate changes in the landscape from Precambrian times, seasonal and natural cycles, plant and animal life, topographical maps, agriculture and local ecology, and dioramas showing forest and wetland ecosystems (1, 1949-1950, p. 4; 2). The exhibits include or have included the following:

An October Afternoon Near Stissing Mountain (diorama)

Bird’s-Eye View of Stissing Mountain and Village of Pine Plains (relief map)

Geological History and Structure

Glaciation

The Water Cycle

Soils and Soil Conservation

Life in the Soil

Roots in the Soil

The Relation of Plants to Geology and Soil

Rotation of Farm Crops in Dutchess County, N.Y.

The Apple Orchard in Dutchess County, N.Y.

Fertilizers in the Soil

Cycle of Nutrition and Decay

Life in the Water

From Field to Lake (diorama)

Seasons in the Lake

Seasons in the Woods

The Changing Forests

Man and the Land

Records of Time

Agriculture (3, 1953, p. 207-215; 4)

Sources

    (1) American Museum of Natural History. Annual Reports. New York: American Museum of Natural History, 1948-1957.
    (2) American Museum of Natural History. “Felix M. Warburg Hall of New York State Environment,” accessed Febraury 21, 2017, http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/permanent-exhibitions/biodiversity-and-environmental-halls/felix-m.-warburg-hall-of-new-york-state-environment.
    (3) American Museum of Natural History. General Guide to the Exhibition Halls of the American Museum of Natural History. New York: American Museum of Natural History, 1953.
    (4) Felix M. Warburg Memorial Hall of New York State Environment. American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY. February 21, 2017.
    Information for the hall appears in the following Museum publications:
    Annual Reports: 1946 (page 11), 1948 (page 10), 1949 (pages 5, 7, 11), 1950 (pages 5, 8-9) 1951 (page 33) 1953 (page 52), 1955 (page 27), 1957 (page 4, 9-10, 12), 1958 (page 57), 1963 (page 71), 1972 (page 8), 1974 (page 30), 1976 (page 31), 1990 (page 7)
    General Guides: 1953 (Table of Contents, pages 207-215), 1956 (Table of Contents, pages 209-215), 1958 (Table of Contents, pages 215-220) 1962-1963 (pages 10-12, 18-19), 1964 (pages 10-12, 18)
    American Museum of Natural History Pictorial Guide: 1967
    American Museum of Natural History: An Introduction: 1972 (page 6, 159)
    Official Guides: 1984 (page 35); 1993 (pages 26, 50); 2001 (page 60)

Terms

place
New YorkExternal link
AMNH: Floor 1, Section 3.

Related Corporate, Personal, and Family Names

Warburg, Frederick (Felix)
Museum trustee, hall dedicated in his memory (1, 1949, p. 5).
Wiley, Farida A. (Farida Anna)
Consultant on hall (1, 1955, p. 27).

Related Resources

subjectOf
Historic Halls of the American Museum of Natural History
Curated digital images of permanent halls in the American Museum of Natural History Library, Digital Special Collections.

Written by: Clare O'Dowd
Last modified: 2018 December 7


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