American Museum of Natural History. Hall of Asian Mammals.

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Exist Dates

1930 - present

Biographical or Historical Note

abstract
Permanent exhibition. Opened November 17, 1930. Located on Floor 2, Section 9. The Hall of Asian Mammals at the American Museum of Natural History exhibits large mammals from India, Myanmar, and Thailand in a dozen habitat groups and, similar to the Hall of African Mammals, a group of freestanding elephants as the hall's centerpiece. The hall was rearranged between 1950 and 1951 (1, 1950/51, p. 35.) Expeditions that contributed to the hall included the Asiatic Zoological Expedition of the American Museum of Natural History (1st: 1916-1917), the Asiatic Zoological Expedition of the American Museum of Natural History (2nd: 1918-1919), the Faunthorpe-Vernay Expedition of the American Museum of Natural History (1922-1923), and the Vernay Faunthorpe Expedition (1926-1929) (1, 1917 p. 29; 1, 1922 p. 95). The Asiatic Zoological Expeditions were led by Roy Chapman Andrews and included Yvette Borup Andrews, Edmund Heller, and Harry R. Caldwell. J.C. Faunthorpe and Arthur S. Vernay funded and led their eponymous expeditions, and Museum artists Albert E. Butler and Clarence C. Rosenkranz joined them to conduct field studies (1, 1927, p. 74-75). The curator for the hall was Harold E. Anthony (1, 1957/58 p. 19). Artists for the hall's design and habitat groups were Albert E. Butler, James L. Clark, Walter Esherich, Arthur Jansson, Francis Lee Jaques, Louis Paul Jonas, John W. Hope, William R. Leigh, Robert Rockwell, and Clarence C. Rosenkranz (2, 2006, p. 169).

Plans for an Asiatic Hall appear in the 1911 Annual Report (1, 1911, p. 22). The South Asiatic Mammal Hall, as the hall was then known, was planned in conjunction with the North Asiatic Mammal Hall. After many expeditions to collect specimens, construction began in 1925 (1, 1924, p. 91-92; 1, 1925, p. 29) and the hall opened on November 17, 1930. The design of the hall features ornamentation suggestive of Asia, including bamboo designs on the windows. Between 1950 and 1951 the hall was rearranged, but the habitat groups remained the same (1, 1950/51, p. 35).

Many of the animals represented in the Hall of Asian Mammals are threatened by poaching and loss of habitat. The giant panda and Siberian tiger from its former companion hall, the North Asiatic Hall, are featured in the endangered species case in the Hall of Biodiversity as of 2017 (3).

The mammal groups in the hall include dioramas, cases, and the freestanding Asian Elephants. The full dioramas are:

Banting

Gaur

Indian Rhinoceros

Leopard

Sambar and Swamp Deer

Tiger

Water Buffalo

The habitat groups in cases with two-sides of background are:

Black Buck and Chinkara

Chital or Axis Deer

Hoolock Gibbon

Thamin or Eld's Deer

Habitat groups without backgrounds are:

Sumatran Rhinoceros

Sloth Bear

Hog Deer and Indian Wild Boar

Muntjac and Spotted Chevrotain

Four-horned Antelope and Indian Smooth Otter

Indian Lion (2, 2006, p. 169; 4)

Sources

    (1) American Museum of Natural History. Annual Reports. New York: American Museum of Natural History, 1911-1957/58.
    (2) Quinn, Stephen C. Windows on Nature: The Great Habitat Dioramas of the American Museum of Natural History. New York: Abrams; New York: American Museum of Natural History, 2006.
    (3) American Museum of Natural History. "Hall of Asian Mammals," accessed June 23, 2017, http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/permanent-exhibitions/mammal-halls/hall-of-asian-mammals.
    (4) Hall of Asian Mammals. American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY. June 23, 2017.
    Information for the hall appears in the following Museum publications:
    American Museum of Natural History Annual Reports for years: 1911 (page 22); 1916 (page 21); 1917 (page 29); 1919 (page 18); 1920 (page 19); 1922 (page 95, 97); 1923 (page 25, 120); 1924 (page 11, 12, 91); 1925 (page 18, 29); 1926 (page 13, 25, 77); 1927 (page 15, 74, 141); 1928 (page 19, 22, 51); 1929 (page 9, 72); 1930 (page 38, 39, 41, 46); 1931 (page 10); 1933 (page 6); 1949 (page [14]); 1950 (page 35); 1957 (page 19); 1971 (page 13); 1972 (page 38); 1976 (page 31); 1984 (page 52); 1986 (page 53); 1988 (page 7); 1993 (page 71); 1998 (page 83); 2010 (page 76)
    American Museum of Natural History General Guides for years: 1931 (page 66); 1932 (page 66); 1933 (page 68); 1934 (page 69); 1935 (page 69); 1936 (page 69); 1939 (page 17, 99, 103); 1943 (page 17, 111, 107); 1945 (page 17, 111, 107); 1947 (page 17, 111, 107); 1949 (page 17, 111, 107); 1953 (Floor plans, 140, 141, 145); 1956 (page 145, 151); 1958 (page 147, 153); 1962 (page 12, 43); 1964 (page 12, 43)
    American Museum of Natural History Pictorial Guide 1967.
    American Museum of Natural History: An Introduction 1972, page 109.
    American Museum of Natural History Official Guides for years: 1984 (page 33); 1993 (page 22, 50); 2001 (Table of Contents, 28, 61)

Terms

place
New YorkExternal link
AMNH: Floor 2, Section 9.

Related Corporate, Personal, and Family Names

Albrecht, Clarence John
Diorama taxidermist (2, 2006, p. 169).
Andrews, Roy Chapman, 1884-1960
Expedition leader on expeditions that collected for the hall (1, 1916, p. 21).
Andrews, Yvette Borup
Expedition member on expeditions that collected for the hall (1, 1916, p. 21).
Anthony, H. E. (Harold Elmer) 1890-1970
Scientifc advisor for hall (1, 1957/58 p. 19).
Asiatic Zoological Expedition of the American Museum of Natural History (2nd : 1918-1919)
Expedition collected specimens for hall (1, 1917, p. 29).
Asiatic Zoölogical Expedition of the American Museum of Natural History (1st : 1916-1917)
Expedition collected specimens for hall (1, 1916, p. 21).
Butler, Albert E.
Supervised creation of dioramas and habitat groups in hall (2, 2006, p. 169).
Caldwell, Harry R.
Expedition member on expeditions that collected for the hall(1, 1917, p. 29).
Carter, T. Donald (Thomas Donald) 1893-
Curator for the hall (1, 1971/72, p. 13).
Clark, James L. (James Lippitt) 1883-1969
Supervised creation of dioramas and habitat groups and taxidermist for hall (2, 2006, p. 169).
Escherich, Walter
Diorama taxidermist (2, 2006, p. 169).
Faunthorpe, J. C. (John Champion) 1871-1929
Donor and expedition leader on expedition that collected for hall (1, 1922, p. 95).
Faunthorpe-Vernay Expedition of the American Museum of Natural History (1922-1923)
Expedition collected specimens for hall (1, 1922, p. 95).
Hope, John William, 1889-
Diorama taxidermist (2, 2006, p. 169).
Jansson, Arthur August 1890-1960
Diorama background artist (2, 2006, p. 169).
Jaques, Francis Lee 1887-1969
Diorama background artist (2, 2006, p. 169).
Jonas, Louis
Taxidermist for Asian Elephant Group (2, 2006, p. 169).
Leigh, William R.
Diorama background artist (2, 2006, p. 169).
Noble, G. Kingsley (Gladwyn Kingsley) 1894-1940
Curator for the hall (1, 1940, p. 6).
North Asiatic Mammals (Hall)
associated dates: 1939-1971

Companion hall
Rockwell, R. H
Diorama taxidermist (2, 2006, p. 169).
Rosenkranz, Clarence C., 1871-1946
Diorama background artist (2, 2006, p. 169).
Vernay Faunthorpe Expedition
Expedition collected specimens for hall (1, 1927, p. 15).
Vernay, Arthur Stannard 1877-1960
Financier and expedition member on expeditions that collected for hall (1, 1927, p. 15).

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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