American Museum of Natural History. Hall of Prehistoric Cultures.

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Exist Dates

1911 - 1967

Biographical or Historical Note

abstract
Permanent exhibition. Opened approximately 1911 and closed approximately 1967. Located on Floor 2, Section 6. The Hall of Prehistoric Cultures at the American Museum of Natural History featured archeological objects from early human cultures. The curator for the hall was Nels C. Nelson (1, 1922, p. 10)

The hall featured primarily archeological specimens from North America, including pottery, arrowheads and stone and bone implements found largely from burial grounds and were arranged and exhibited by present-day geographical region. European stone implements were displayed in the tower room along with carvings from cultures of Southern Europe as well as copies of paintings from the cave walls of Altamira and Font-de-Gaume (2, 1913, p. 50).

The hall also included various skulls from modern humans and a comparative historical series showing the development of the human race and a miniature group depicting Neolithic Denmark (2, 1918, p. 45; AR 1934 p. 10). A more extensive related exhibit of fossil humans, the Early Races of Man, was shown in Age of Man Hall on the fourth floor (2, 1928, p. 52). The tower room later featured a synoptic display collection from the Near East (2, 1962, p. 24-25).

Sources

    (1) American Museum of Natural History. Annual Reports. New York: American Museum of Natural History, 1922.
    (2) General Guide to [the Exhibition Halls of] the American Museum of Natural History. New York: American Museum of Natural History, 1913-1962.
    Information for the hall appears in the following Museum publications:
    American Museum of Natural History Annual Reports for years 1911 (page 60); 1912 (page 67); 1913 (page 66); 1914 (page 75); 1922 (page 10); 1932 (page 65); 1934 (page 10); 1935 (page 13)
    American Museum of Natural History General Guides for years 1911 (page 35, 41); 1913 (page 50, 51); 1913 (Table of Contents); 1914 (Table of Contents, page 54, 55); 1916 (page 55, 57); 1918 (Table of Contents, page 45); 1919 (Table of Contents, page 37, 47); 1921 (Table of Contents, page 37, 47); 1922 (Table of Contents, page 37, 47); 1923 (Table of Contents, page 37, 47); 1926 (page 38); 1927 (page 38); 1928 (Table of Contents, page 51); 1930 (Table of Contents, page 51); 1931 (Table of Contents, page 76); 1932 (Table of Contents, page 76); 1933 (Table of Contents, page 78); 1934 (page 79); 1935 (page 79); 1936 (page 79); 1939 (page 17, 119); 1943 (page 17, 126); 1945 (page 17); 1947 (page 17); 1949 (page 17); 1953 (Floor plans); 1962 (page 12); 1964 (page 24)

Terms

place
New YorkExternal link
AMNH: Floor 2, Section 6. Additional location information: in Sections West Wing, Hall 201 (1904) and Southwest Pavillion.

Related Corporate, Personal, and Family Names

Nelson, Nels C. (Nels Christian) 1875-1964
Curator for hall (1, 1922, p. 10).
Volk, Ernest 1845-1919
Created Delaware Valley exhibit for hall (1, 1911, p. 60).

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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