American Museum of Natural History. Hall of the Age of Man.

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Exist Dates

1911 - approximately 1965-1966

Biographical or Historical Note

abstract
Permanent exhibition. Opened 1911 and closed approximately 1965-1966. Located on Floor 4, Section 2. The Hall of the Age of Man at the American Museum of Natural History exhibited ice mammals contemporary with early man as well as fossil hominids. The hall featured mural paintings by Charles R. Knight (1, 1918, p. 43). Curators for the hall included William K. Gregory, George Pinkley, Henry Fairfield Osborn, Walter Granger, J. Howard McGregor; and Christine D. Matthew served as research assistant (1, 1938, p. 15; 1, 1918, p. 83).

The Hall of the Age of Man featured mammoths and mastodons, including the Warren Mastodon, Woolly and Jefferson Mammoths; Toxodon, Macrauchenia, Glyptodon, Megaloceros (Irish deer); the Ground Sloth Group; the Rancho La Brea Group; saber-toothed tigers; skeletons of modern horses, which later became the exhibit, the Horse Under Domestication; and the Races of Man exhibit, which featured skulls of Neanderthal, Gibraltar Chapelle aux Saints, Spy, and Piltdown men. Skeletons of modern elephants, including that of Jumbo, were shown for comparison to mammoths and mastodons. Charles R. Knight's murals depicted life-like scenes featuring the mammals on exhibit in the hall (2, 1911, p. 74-76; 2, 1913, p. 90; 2, 1919, p. 100-101; 2, 1939, p. 51-53; 2, 1953, p. 74). Between 1915 and 1917 the Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton was temporarily installed in this hall for lack of space in the Dinosaur Hall (1, 1915, p. 72; 1, 1917, p. 87-88). Exhibits of the Family Tree of Man, Comparative Anatomy of Man and Anthropoids, and Why Man Walks Upright were installed in the hall in 1924 and may have been transferred to the Hall of the Natural History of Man, which opened in 1932 (1,1924, p. 98-99; 2, 1934, p. 103-105). Specimens may have moved between the Hall of the Age of Man and the Hall of Late Mammals during hall revisions. After the closure of the hall, many of its specimens were transferred to the Hall of Late Mammals (3, 1972, p. 70).

Sources

    (1) American Museum of Natural History. Annual Reports. New York: American Museum of Natural History, 1915-1938.
    (2) 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, 1911-1953.
    (3) American Museum of Natural History. The American Museum of Natural History. New York: American Museum of Natural History: An Introduction, 1972.
    Information for the hall appears in the following Museum publications:
    American Museum of Natural History Annual Reports for years: 1911 (page 44); 1915 (page 38, 72); 1916 (page 45); 1917 (page 87); 1918 (page 43, 82, 83); 1919 (page 96); 1920 (page 28, 62, 100); 1921 (page 42, 97); 1922 (page 64); 1923 (page 70); 1924 (page 98, 130); 1925 (page 7, 66-67, 118, 123); 1926 (page 79); 1927 (page 35); 1928 (page 3); 1930 (page 38); 1932 (page 56, 59); 1933 (page 6); 1937 (page 17, 64); 1938 (page 10, 15); 1939 (page 9)
    American Museum of Natural History General Guides for years: 1911 (page 73, 74, 87); 1913 (page 87, 89, 101); 1914 (page 96, 97, 109); 1916 (page 103, 104, 118); 1918 (Table of Contents, 96, 97, 111); 1919 (Table of Contents, 99, 100, 113); 1920 (page 99, 100, 113); 1921 (Table of Contents, 99, 100, 113); 1922 (Table of Contents, 99, 100, 113); 1923 (Table of Contents, 99, 100, 112); 1926 (page 38); 1927 (page 39); 1928 (Table of Contents, 91); 1929 (Table of Contents, 91); 1930 (Table of Contents, 91, 100); 1931 (Table of Contents, 105, 115); 1932 (Table of Contents, 105, 115); 1933 (Table of Contents, 107, 117); 1934 (Table of Contents, 109, 119); 1935 (Table of Contents, 109, 119); 1936 (Table of Contents, 109, 119); 1939 (page 19, 29, 51, 118-119); 1943 (page 19, 29, 51, 125-126); 1945 (page 19, 38, 51, 125-126); 1947 (page 19, 38, 51, 125-126); 1949 (page 19, 38, 51, 125-126); 1953 (Floor plans, 71, 160); 1956 (page 77, , 167); 1958 (page 77, 167); 1962 (page 13, 44); 1964 (page 13, 44)
    Osborn, Henry Fairfield,. The Hall of the Age of Man (Guide Leaflet No. 52). New York: American Museum of Natural History, Guide Leaflets No. 52, Hall of the Age of Man, 1921-1938.

Terms

place
New YorkExternal link
AMNH: Floor 4, Section 2.

Related Corporate, Personal, and Family Names

Childs, George Henshaw 1891-1963
Preparator for exhibits in hall (1, 1924, p. 98-102)
Clark, James L. (James Lippitt) 1883-1969
Supervised installtion of Family Tree of Man exhibit (1, 1924, p. 98).
Duboius, Eugen
Donor, presented Museum with Pithacanthropus casts (1, 1925, p. 66-67).
Granger, Walter 1872-1941
Curator for hall (1, 1918, p. 83).
Gregory, William K. (William King) 1876-1970
Curator for hall (1, 1938, p. 15).
Hall of Late Mammals
Fossils exhibited moved between the Halls of Late Mammals and Age of Man (2, 1911, p. 77; 2, 1962 p. 37).
Hellman, Milo 1872-1947
Created reconstruction of the jaws and skull of Plesianthropus transvaalensis Broom based on those found during 1938 expedition with William K. Gregory (1, 1939, p. 9).
Hope, John William, 1889-
Museum artist, background painting of tree, Family Tree of Man (1, 1924, p. 98).
Jansson, Arthur August 1890-1960
Museum artist, background painting of tree, Family Tree of Man (1, 1924, p. 98).
Knight, Charles Robert 1874-1953
Artist, murals in hall (1, 1917, p. 87-88).
Matthew, Christine Diller
Curator or research assistant in Vertebrate Paleontology, worked on exhibits in hall (1, 1918, p. 83).
McGregor, James Howard
Departments of Anthropology and Comparative Anatomy, curator for hall (1, 1918, p. 83).
Osborn, Henry Fairfield 1857-1935
Curator for hall (1, 1933, p. 6).
Pinkley, George
Department of Comparative Anatomy, curator for hall (1, 1938, p. 15).
Roigneau, Marcelle
Preparator for skulls in Family Tree of Man exhibit (1, 1924, p. 98).
Troxell, Edward L.
Sold mastodon (Megabelodon), which he discovered near Dallas, South Dakota in 1917 to the Museum (1, 1918, p. 82).
Weidenreich, Franz 1873-1948
Donor, presented model of Peking man skull to the Museum (1, 1937, p. 17).

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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