American Museum of Natural History. Hall of Fishes of the World.

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Exist Dates

1929 - 1962

Biographical or Historical Note

abstract
Permanent exhibition. Opened December 5, 1928 and closed May 1962. Located on Floor 1, Section 9. The Hall of Fishes of the World at the American Museum of Natural History served as the Museum's ichthyology hall and was constructed at the same time as the Hall of Ocean Life. Specimens for the hall were collected by the Spalding Expedition (1926), which included Keith Spalding, the Arcturus Expedition, which included Herbert Ruckes, and the Lerner Cape Breton Expedition (1936), which included Michael Lerner, J.T. Nichols, Francesca R. La Monte, H.C. Raven, George Conrad Miles, Ludwig Ferraglio, Anthony Keasbey, and William Lerner (1, 1925, p. 22; 1, 1926, p. 9; 2. The hall was arranged by curators Bashford Dean and William K. Gregory and Museum director Frederic A. Lucas (1, 1916, p. 21; 1, 1925, p. 29). Zane Grey and Michael Lerner obtained specimens of big game fish, and other individuals who caught or presented specimens are extensively documented in the annual reports (1, 1923-1936). Preparators for the hall included Walter Escherich, Christopher Marguglio, Ludwig Ferraglio, Herman Mueller, George Childs, George Miles Conrad, and Joseph Guerry (1, 1926, p. 9; 1, 1929, p. 64; 1, 1936, p. 11).

Plans for the hall were announced in the Annual Report in 1911 concurrently with the Hall of Ocean Life. The two new halls and the Darwin Hall were rendered with the same color scheme suggestive of sea tones to emphasize the natural sequence of the three halls (1, 1925, p. 23). The hall was still under development when it opened in 1928 (1, 1928, p. 47).

Exhibits in the hall included the Sea Rovers Group, which depicted a loggerhead turtle hunted by several species of shark: great white shark or man-eater, spot-fin ground shark or shovelnose, southern ground shark, tiger shark, hammer-head shark, and sand shark; exhibits of game fish, which included sailfish, bluefin tuna, blue marlin, swordfish, and spearfish; a model of a giant manta, a whale shark specimen (1, 1939, p. 72-74); the Mako Group (1, 1953, p. 94); the Systematic and Biological exhibits (1, 1928, p. 41-42); the life-history of swordfish from egg to adult (1, 1953, p. 96); a model of a coelcanth fish and an exhibit on shrimp, lobster, and crabs (1, 1962, p. 42). The hall closed in May 1962 to make room for the Hall of the Biology of Invertebrates (1, 1961/62, p. 55).

Sources

    (1) American Museum of Natural History. Annual Reports. New York: American Museum of Natural History, 1923-1961/62.
    (2) American Museum of Natural History Research Library Digital Special Collections. "Lerner Cape Breton Expedition," accessed May 19, 2017, http://data.library.amnh.org:8082/orbeon/xeac/id/amnhc_2000348.
    (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, 1928-1962.
    Information for the hall appears in the following Museum publications:
    American Museum of Natural History Annual Reports for years 1911 (page 20); 1916 (page 21); 1919 (page 25); 1923 (page 40); 1924 (page 104); 1925 (page 18, 22-23, 29, 49); 1926 (page 9, 144); 1927 (page 17, 32, 79); 1928 (page 28, 34, 47, 92); 1929 (page 64); 1930 (page 38); 1931 (page 46); 1934 (page 9); 1935 (page 11); 1936 (page 9, 11, 53); 1937 (page 14, 54, 72); 1940 (page 13); 1941 (page 4, 13, 34); 1942 (page 12); 1957 (page 12); 1961 (page 55)
    American Museum of Natural History General Guides for years 1928 (page 41, 42); 1930 (page 41); 1929 (page 41); 1930 (page 42); 1931 (page 29, 30); 1932 (page 29, 30); 1933 (page 29, 30); 1934 (page 30); 1935 (page 30); 1936 (page 9, 30); 1939 (page 16, 71); 1943 (page 16, 71); 1945 (page 16, 71); 1947 (page 16, 71); 1949 (page 16, 71); 1953 (Floor plans, page 93, 96); 1956 (page 102, 106); 1958 (page 102, 106); 1962 (page 12, 42)

Terms

place
New YorkExternal link
AMNH: Floor 1, Section 9.

Related Corporate, Personal, and Family Names

Arcturus Expedition
Collected material for hall (1, 1925, p. 22).
Childs, George Henshaw 1891-1963
Preparator, exhibits in hall (1, 1926, p. 9).
Conrad, George Miles 1911-1964
Member of Lerner Cape Breton Expedtion, which collected material for the hall (2).
Dean, Bashford 1867-1928
Curator for hall (1, 1916, p. 21).
Escherich, Walter
Preparator, exhibits in hall (1, 1926, p. 9).
Ferraglio, Ludwig G. 1911-
Preparator, exhibits in hall (1, 1926, p. 9).
Gregory, William K. (William King) 1876-1970
Curator for hall (1, 1925, p. 29).
Grey, Zane 1872-1939
Caught specimens exhibited in hall (1, 1940, p. 13).
Guerry, Joseph M. 1906-1967
Preparator, exhibits in hall (1, 1926, p. 9).
Keasbey, Anthony
Member of Lerner Cape Breton Expedtion, which collected material for the hall (2).
Lerner Cape Breton Expedition
Collected material for the hall (2).
Lerner, Michael 1890-1978
Caught specimens exhibited in hall (1, 1940, p. 13).
Lerner, William
Member of Lerner Cape Breton Expedtion, which collected material for the hall (2).
Lucas, Frederic A. (Frederic Augustus) 1852-1929
Curator for hall (1, 1916, p. 21).
Marguglio, Christopher
Preparator, exhibits in hall (1, 1926, p. 9).
Monte, Francesca Raimonde 1895-1982
Member of Lerner Cape Breton Expedtion, which collected material for the hall (2).
Mueller, Herman Oskar
Prepared models for hall (1, 1936, p. 9).
Nichols, John T. (John Treadwell) 1883-1958
Member of Lerner Cape Breton Expedtion, which collected material for the hall (2).
Raven, Henry Cushier 1889-1944
Member of Lerner Cape Breton Expedtion, which collected material for the hall (2).
Spalding Expedition
Expedition collected material for hall (1, 1926, p. 9).
Spalding, Keith
Member of Spalding Expedtion, which collected material for the hall (1, 1926, p.9).

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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