American Museum of Natural History. Hall of Living Invertebrates.

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Exist Dates

1966 - 1996

Biographical or Historical Note

abstract
Permanent exhibition. Opened December 1966 and closed approximately 1996. Located on Floor 1, Section 9. The Hall of Living Invertebrates at the American Museum of Natural History offered a comprehensive view of invertebrates, their origin, classification, structure, physiology, development, behavior, adaptations to the environment, and economic, medical, and aesthetic importance to humans. The hall, opened as part of the Museum's ten-year exhibition program, was a joint undertaking by the departments of Living Invertebrates, Entomology, and Animal Behavior (1, 1972, p. 73; 2; 3, 1994/96, p. 39). Curators included Dorothy Bliss, William K. Emerson, Jerome Rozen, Alice Gray, Linda Mantel, Willis Gertsch, and Ernst Kirsteuer (3, 1962/63, p. 28; 3, 1964/65, p. 45; 3, 1967/68 p. 42; 3, 1970/71, p. 29).

In February 1952, the Hall of Invertebrates opened and occupied the gallery level of the Hall of Ocean Life showcasing models of invertebrates formerly shown in the Darwin Hall (1, 1951/52 p. 32). By 1962, the invertebrates were transferred to the adjacent hall, the Biology of Invertebrates, later called Living Invertebrates (3, 1961/62 p. 55), though the hall was not completed when opened and individual exhibits were opened as they were completed (3, 1965/66, p. 36).

With the hall's diverse exhibits, curators sought to tie them together with "three unifying biological concepts: the continuity of life, the diversity of life, and the inevitability of change" (1, 1972, p. 73). These exhibits included Origin of Life; Structure of Life; Continuity in Life; exhibits on the evolution of invertebrates; invertebrates living in different environments; bioluminescence; life history and economics of shrimps, lobsters, and crabs; invertebrates in art and ornamentation; invertebrates as pests; a plexiglass model of enlarged cell; an ant colony; and two films, one discussing the formation of life on Earth and the other presenting DNA and RNA. Exhibits previously shown in the Darwin Hall and the Hall of Ocean Life were the Tide Pool, Wharf Pile, Sound-Bottom, and Shallows groups, A Drop of Pond Water, glass models of invertebrates by Hermann O. Mueller, and the Giant Squid model (2; 4, 1967; 5, 1984, p. 17). The Hall of Living Invertebrates closed in approximately 1996 to make way for the Hall of Biodiversity (3, 1994/96, p. 39; 2).

Sources

    (1) American Museum of Natural History. American Museum of Natural History: An Introduction. New York: American Museum of Natural History, 1972.
    (2) American Museum of Natural History. Research Library Digital Special Collections, accessed June 21, 2017, http://images.library.amnh.org/digital
    (3) American Museum of Natural History. Annual Reports. New York: American Museum of Natural History, 1951/52-1994/96.
    (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, 1984.
    Information for the hall appears in the following Museum publications:
    American Museum of Natural History Annual Reports for years: 1960 (page 43, 63); 1961 (page 4, 28); 1962 (page 24, 58); 1963 (page 70); 1964 (page 45); 1965 (page 4, 36); 1966 (page 4, 20); 1967 (page 42, 70); 1968 (page 10); 1969 (page 39); 1970 (page 3, 29); 1971 (page 21); 1974 (page 7); 1976 (page 8);1985 (page 55); 1985 (page 66); 1986 (page 30); 1987 (page 32); 1990 (page 45)
    American Museum of Natural History General Guide 1964, page 12, 20-21.
    American Museum of Natural History Pictorial Guide 1967.
    American Museum of Natural History: An Introduction 1972, page 5, 7, 73.
    American Museum of Natural History Official Guide 1984, page 7, 17, 50. 1993 page 7

Terms

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

Related Corporate, Personal, and Family Names

Bliss, Dorothy E
Curator for hall (3, 1958/59 p. 22).
Cupaiuolo, Rose
Coordinator for exhibition programs, worked with curators on exhibits in hall (3, 1967/68, p. 4)
Emerson, William K.
Curator for hall (3, 1967/68 p. 42)
Gertsch, Willis John 1906-
Curator for hall (3, 1965/66 p. 36).
Gray, Alice
Curator for hall (3, 1965/66 p. 36).
Horseshoe Crabs: Blue Bloods of the Sea (Exhibition)
associated dates: 1990 September-1990 September
Kirsteuer, Ernst
Curator for hall (3, 1967/68 p. 42).
Mantel, Linda
Curator for hall (3, 1967/68 p. 42)
Mueller, Herman Oskar
Artist, created glass models of invertebrates exhibited in hall (4, 1967).
Rozen, Jerome George 1928-
Curator for hall (3, 1965/66 p. 36).

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: 2019 February 15


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