1999 - present
Biographical or Historical Note
- Permanent exhibition. Opened June 12, 1999. Located on Floor 1, Section 19. The David S. and Ruth L. Gottesman Hall of Planet
Earth at the American Museum of Natural History is a part of the Rose Center for Earth Space. It is the only hall in the Rose
Center not located within the Rose Center building and instead occupies a space in the Whitney building, which was constructed
in 1933. The 8,830 square-foot Hall of Planet Earth tells the story of Earth, from its early evolution to the earthquakes
and storms of today and features geological specimens from around the globe (1,1998/99, p. 28; 2, 2001, p. 67). Curators from
the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences include Chair Edmond A. Mathez, James Webster, associate curator, and Rosamond
Kinzler, research scientist, along with contributions from more than 125 scientists from around the world. The exhibits were
designed by Ralph Applebaum Associates and the architects were Polshek and Partners. Support for the hall was provided by
David S. and Ruth L. Gottesman, the State of New York, the City of New York, the Office of the Mayor of New York, the Speaker
and Council of the City of New York, and the Office of the Manhattan Borough President. Programming and educational support
was provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The Earth Event Wall has been supported by a grant
from Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. (1, 1998/99, p. 28).
The Hall of Planet Earth features exhibits that explain how the planet works with exhibition zones organized around five major
questions: How has the Earth evolved? Why are there ocean basins, continents, and mountains? How do we read rocks? What causes
climate and climate change? And Why is the Earth habitable? (3).
The hall features 168 rock specimens, many of them touchable, and 11 full-scale casts of classic outcroppings from 25 different
countries. More than 38 tons of rock, including granite, marble, sandstone, basalt, shale, coral, and precious metals are
displayed. At the center of the hall is the Dynamic Earth Globe, which displays a digital video presenting a view of the Earth
from outer space and using data from U.S. Air Force Defense Meteorological satellites and polar-orbiting weather satellites.
As with the Hall of Biodiversity and the Rose Center's Cullman Hall of the Universe, the Hall of Planet Earth features an
electronic bulletin, the Earth Event Wall, which broadcasts global events such as storms, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions
At the north end of the hall, a large video screen projects Earth scenes from around the world. Views of volcanoes erupting,
rivers overflowing, thunderstorms, and glaciers flowing are coupled with "Sounds of the Earth," a specially created soundscape
providing an immersive experience. The soundscape was a collaboration between Charles Morrow Associates, Frank Rasor from
the Exhibition Department, Brad Berlin of Berlin Acoustics, and Oliver Pemberton of Electrosonic. An array of video monitors
shows scientists working in the field, and computer interactives allow visitors to explore geologic time and to gain an understanding
of the methods scientists use to study vast Earth systems (1, 1998/99, p. 28; 2, 2001, p. 84).
Additional information can be found in the main record for the Rose Center for Earth and Space under Relations.
(1) American Museum of Natural History. Annual Reports. New York: American Museum of Natural History, 1998/99-2000.
(2) Futter, Ellen V. The Rose Center for Earth and Space: A Museum for the Twenty-First Century. New York: Harry N. Abrams;
New York: American Museum of Natural History, 2001.
(3) American Museum of Natural History, "David S. and Ruth L. Gottesman Hall of Planet Earth", accessed July 25, 2017, http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/permanent-exhibitions/rose-center-for-earth-and-space/david-s.-and-ruth-l.-gottesman-hall-of-planet-earth.
Information for the hall appears in the following Museum publications:
American Museum of Natural History Annual Reports for years1994-1996 (page 6-7), 1996-1997 (page 6), 1998-1999 (page 1, 9,
18-19, 28, 52); 2000 (page 13-14, 28)
American Museum of Natural History Official Guide 2001 (page 42, 60).
Futter, Ellen V. The Rose Center for Earth and Space: A Museum for the Twenty-First Century. New York: Harry N. Abrams; New
York: American Museum of Natural History, 2001.
- New York
AMNH: Floor 1, Section 19.