American Museum of Natural History. Sanford Memorial Hall of the Biology of Birds

Show/Hide All Variant Names

Exist Dates

1939 - approximately 1993-1997

Biographical or Historical Note

abstract
Permanent exhibition. Opened June 6, 1939 and closed approximately 1993-1997. Located on Floor 1, Section 19. The Sanford Memorial Hall of the Biology of Birds at the American Museum of Natural History was part of three ornithological halls in the Whitney Wing along with the Bird Art Gallery and the Whitney Memorial Hall of Oceanic Birds (1, 1939, p. 8-9). In contrast to the more aesthetically striking bird halls with habitat dioramas, the Biology of Birds Hall was intended to be more instructive and explanatory (2, 1953, p. 117). After its official opening, work on the hall continued steadily with W.P.A. assistance (1, 1941, p. 18). The hall was frequently updated throughout its existence.

Plans for the hall appeared as early as 1930 (1, 1930, p. 43). Although incomplete, the hall first opened on June 6, 1939 along with other halls in the Whitney Wing (1, 1939, p. 8-9). The hall had another formal opening on May 25, 1948 in which it was formally named for Dr. Leonard C. Sanford (1, 1948/49, p. 11).

The hall presented maps, diagrams, and photographs, illustrating birds’ anatomy, physiology, behavior, flight, feathers, nests, geographic distribution, migration, and relationship to humans. A synoptic display with representative specimens from over 140 bird families as well as displays of fossil birds including Diatryma and the giant moa were on view. The entrance featured a sunset scene in the Caribbean with flying flamingoes, spoonbills, scarlet ibises, and egrets (2, 1939, p. 85; 2, 1947, p. 88; 2, 1953, p. 117-118; 2, 1956, p. 127-128; 3, 1967; 4, 1972, p. 99).

The hall closed between 1993 and 1997. It appears in the 1993 Official Guide and in 1997, construction began on the Hall of Planet Earth, which occupies that space as of 2017 (5, 1993, p. 27; 1, 1997/98, p. 3).

Sources

    (1) American Museum of Natural History. Annual Reports. New York: American Museum of Natural History, 1939-1997/98.
    (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, 1939-1956.
    (3) American Museum of Natural History, The American Museum of Natural History: A Pictorial Guide, 1967.
    (4) American Museum of Natural History, The American Museum of Natural History: An Introduction 1972.
    (5) American Museum of Natural History, Official Guide: Images from Around the American Museum of Natural History, 1993.
    Information for the hall appears in the following Museum publications:
    American Museum of Natural History Annual Reports for years 1930 (page 43); 1936 (page 14); 1937 (page 16); 1938 (page 1); 1939 (page 8); 1940 (page 19); 1941 (page 18); 1942 (page 12, 16); 1944 (page 28); 1945 (page 12); 1946 (page 17); 1947 (page [5]); 1948 (page [11]); 1949 (page [6], [14]); 1954 (page 25); 1956 (page 18); 1957 (page 15, 50); 1958 (page 16); 1959 (page 24); 1960 (page 63); 1961 (page 43, 55); 1961 (page 55); 1965 (page 61); 1972 (page 24); 1973 (page 22); 1976 (page 8); 1979 (page 47); 1980 (page 50); 1981 (page 34, 46); 1982 (page 37); 1983 (page 2, 58); 1984 (page 58); 1990 (page 7, 32)
    American Museum of Natural History General Guides for years 1939 (page 16, 85); 1943 (page 16, 88); 1945 (page 16, 88); 1947 (page 16, 88); 1949 (page 16, 88); 1953 (Floor plans, page 23, 117); 1956 (Table of Contents, page 25, 127); 1958 (Table of Contents, page 26, 127); 1962 (page 12, 42); 1964 (page 12, 42)
    American Museum of Natural History Pictorial Guide 1967.
    American Museum of Natural History: An Introduction 1972, page 5, 7, 8.
    American Museum of Natural History Official Guides for years 1984 (page 28); 1993 (page 27, 50)

Terms

place
New YorkExternal link
AMNH: Floor 1, Section 19.

Related Corporate, Personal, and Family Names

Chapman, Frank M. (Frank Michler) 1864-1945
Exhibit on bird migration donated in his honor by T.W. Earhart (1, 1965, p. 61).
Earhart, T.W.
Donor, exhibit on bird migration in honor of Frank M. Chapman (1, 1965, p. 61).
Gilliard, E. Thomas (Ernest Thomas) 1912-1965
Assistant curator (1, 1937, p. 16).
Lanman, Ludlow Thomas
"Eggs, Incubation, Care of Young," alcove dedicated in honor of (1, 1958, p. 16)
Lanyon, Wesley E
Curator (1, 1980/81, p. 35).
Murphy, Robert Cushman, 1887-1973
Curator (1, 1937, p. 16).
Sanford, L. C. (Leonard Cutler) 1868-1950
Hall reopened May 25, 1948 and named in honor of (1, 1947/48).
White, Alexander M., Mrs.
Donor "Eggs, Incubation, Care of Young," alcove dedicated in honor of brother Ludlow Thomas Lanman (1, 1958/59, p. 16).

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


Export

Content negotiation supports the following types: text/html, application/xml, application/tei+xml, application/vnd.google-earth.kml+xml, application/rdf+xml, application/json, text/turtle

Return to top

amnhc_4000082http://data.library.amnh.org/archives-authorities/org:Organizationosm