American Museum of Natural History. Hall of Late Dinosaurs.

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Exist Dates

1939 - 1992

Biographical or Historical Note

abstract
Permanent exhibition. Opened 1939 and closed February 1992. Located on Floor 4, Section 9. The Hall of Late Dinosaurs opened alongside the Hall of Early Dinosaurs. The two halls succeeded the Hall of Dinosaurs and divided the dinosaur exhibits chronologically (1, 1938, p. 2). The hall was renovated and rearranged in 1955-1956 (1, 1955/56, p. 42). Expeditions led by Barnum Brown and Roy Chapman Andrew, including the Central Asiatic Expeditions (1921-1930), contributed many of the specimens in the hall. The hall closed in February 1992 for the creation of new fossil halls (2, 1990).

Not long after the Hall of Dinosaurs, newly separate from other fossil reptiles, fishes, and amphibians, opened in 1927, plans were afoot to separate the dinosaur exhibits into two halls (1, 1929, p. 2). With the Hall of Early Dinosaurs around the corner, the Hall of Late Dinosaurs opened in the same space as the original Hall of Dinosaurs. The Hall of Late Dinosaurs was named the Cretaceous Hall when it opened in 1939, though it was often referred to as the Tyrannosaur Hall in the 1950's and as the Hall of Late Dinosaurs from the 1960's onward.

The dominant feature of the hall—and one of the most famous exhibits in the Museum— was the Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton. Mounts of Triceratops, Trachodon, Corythosaurus, Saurolophus, Procheneosaurus Anklyosaurus, Gorgosaurus, Struthiomimus (Ornithomimus), Protoceratops, Pteranodon, Archeaoptyrex, Monoclonius, Styracosaurus, Nodosaurus, and Camptosaur (3, 1939, p. 42-45; 3, 1956, p. 66-68; 3, 1958, p. 68) were also featured. Other exhibits included the "mummy" of a duck-billed dinosaur, life-like, fleshed-out models of Protoceratops hatching from eggs, and a wall exhibit of Birth, Life, and Death of a Dinosaur, which featured a series of Protoceratops skulls (3, 1962, p. 39; 4, 1967).

In the 1990's, the Museum's Department of Paleontology reimagined the fossils halls. The Halls of Early and Late Dinosaurs closed to make way for the Halls of Saurischian and Ornithischian Dinosaurs, which are arranged not by chronology but by evolutionary relationships. Many of the fossils in the Hall of Early and Late Dinosaurs moved to the newly arranged halls. Notably, the Tyrannosaurus rex moved to the Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs, and the Triceratops, duck-billed dinosaurs (Trachodons), dinosaur mummy, Anklyosaurus and Corythosaurus moved to the Hall of Ornithischian Dinosaurs. In 1993, a special exhibition, Work in Progress: Drawing Board to Dinosaurs was on view in Gallery 77 for visitors to preview the new halls (5,1993, p. 15).

Sources

    (1) American Museum of Natural History. Annual Reports. New York: American Museum of Natural History, 1929-1950/51.
    (2) Browne, Malcolm W. "Dinosaur Displays Closing for Renovation." New York Times. November 29, 1990, accessed March 13, 2017, https://search.proquest.com/docview/108460551?accountid=8068.
    (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, 1939-1953.
    (4) American Museum of Natural History. American Museum of Natural History: A Pictorial Guide. New York: American Museum of Natural History, 1967.
    (5) American Museum of Natural History. Official Guide: Images from around American Museum of Natural History. New York: American Museum of Natural History, 1993.
    (6) American Museum of Natural History. Central Asiatic Expeditions (1921-1930). New York: American Museum of Natural History, accessed August 9, 2017, http://data.library.amnh.org:8082/orbeon/xeac/id/amnhc_2000167.
    Information for the hall appears in the following Museum publications:
    American Museum of Natural History Annual Reports for years: 1938 (page 2); 1941 (page 10); 1954 (page 50); 1955 (page 42); 1956 (page 32); 1957 (page 15); 1962 (page 48); 1962 (page 48); 1964 (page 56); 1980 (page 55); 1984 (page 66); 1990 (page 35)
    American Museum of Natural History General Guides for years: 1939 (page 19); 1939 (page 42); 1943 (page 19); 1943 (page 42); 1945 (page 19); 1945 (page 44); 1947 (page 19); 1947 (page 44); 1949 (page 19); 1949 (page 44); 1953 (Floor plans); 1953 (page 24); 1953 (page 59); 1956 (page 65); 1956 (Table of Contents); 1958 (page 65); 1958 (Table of Contents); 1962 (page 13); 1962 (page 39); 1964 (page 13); 1964 (page 39)
    American Museum of Natural History Pictorial Guide 1967.
    American Museum of Natural History: An Introduction 1972, page 7, 62
    American Museum of Natural History Official Guide 1984, page 20.

Terms

place
New YorkExternal link
AMNH: Floor 4, Section 9.

Related Corporate, Personal, and Family Names

Andrews, Roy Chapman, 1884-1960
Expedition leader of expeditions that collected specimens in the hall (6).
Back to the Gobi (Exhibition)
associated dates: 1990-1991
Brown, Barnum
Collected many of specimens in the hall (1, 1962/63 p. 48).
Central Asiatic Expeditions (1921-1930)
Expedition collected specimens exhibited in the hall (6).
Hall of Dinosaurs
Halls of Early and Late Dinosaurs succeeded the Hall of Dinosaurs..
Hall of Early Dinosaurs
Halls of Early and Late Dinosaurs succeeded the Hall of Dinosaurs.
The Making of a Dinosaur (Exhibition)
associated dates: 1978 February 6-1979

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 18


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