Specimen, AMNH 867. The Ahnighito meteorite (also known as the Tent) is one part of several pieces of the Cape York Meteorite that fell into Earth thousands of years ago. The 34-ton mass of iron is on display at the American Museum of History in the Arthur Ross Hall of Meteorites (1). The meteorite is 10 feet 10 inches (length), 7 feet 2 inches (height), 5 feet 6 inches (width). It is composed of iron (91.476%), nickel (7.785%), cobalt (0.533%), copper (0.014%), phosphorus (0.202%) and carbon (0.028%). A trace of chromium was found in the fine oxidized particles from the surface (2, p. 5-6).
Exhibition. Opened January 2, 1969 and closed December 31, 1969. Located in Section 5, Floor 2 in the Corner Gallery at the American Museum of Natural History. 100 Years of Wonder: The Story of the American Museum of Natural History consisted of antique engravings, historic black and white photographs, and the contents of the Museum's cornerstone, representing a journey through the Museum's 100-year history.
Exhibition. Opened July 17, 1941 and closed August 15, 1941. Located in the Main Lobby at the American Museum of Natural History. ASKOY Expedition Material featured equipment used and material collected on the ASKOY Expedition (1941-1945) led by Robert Cushman Murphy.
Exhibition. Opened February 2, 1998 and closed August 2, 1998. Located on Floor 4 in the Library Gallery. Africa: Explorations and Expeditions featured rare books, field notebooks, diaries, photographs, sketches, artifacts, and specimens illustrating more than 200 years of European, American, and Museum expeditions and discoveries in Africa.
Exhibition. Opened June 8, 1990 and closed January 6, 1991. Located in Section 3, Floor 3 in Gallery 3 at the American Museum of Natural History. African Reflections: Art from Northeastern Zaire, curated by Enid Schildkrout and Curtis A. Keim of the Museum's Department of Anthropology, focused on the art history of the region from the time of the first encounters with Europeans, through the colonial period to the present and drew primarily from material collected on the American Museum Congo Expedition (1909-1915).
Carl Ethan Akeley (born May 19, 1864, Clarendon, New York— died November
17, 1926, Belgian Congo, Africa), taxidermist, sculptor, inventor, explorer, and
naturalist, who led five expeditions to Africa, three of which for the Museum of
Natural History where he gathered specimens for his African Hall Exhibition. He
is the author of the book In Brightest Africa.
Mary L. Jobe (Mary Lenore Jobe) Akeley (born January 29, 1878, Tappan,
Ohio— died July 19, 1966, Mystic, Connecticut), explorer, photographer,
lecturer, writer, who went on numerous expeditions to the Canadian Rockies
before marrying Carl Ethan Akeley, participating in his Akeley-Eastman-Pomeroy
African Hall expedition and being named Special Advisor and Assistant of the
African Hall for the Museum of Natural History, after his death in 1926. She is
the author of many publications, including Carl Akeley’s Africa, Restless
Jungle, and Congo Eden.
The Akeley-Eastman-Pomeroy African Hall Expedition was a collecting expedition to
Africa; its mission was to provide specimens for the African Hall at the American Museum of
Natural History, originally conceived in 1910. The man behind both the exhibit hall and the
expedition was Carl Ethan Akeley, an animal sculptor and taxidermist, an inventor, naturalist
and photographer. The Eastman-Pomeroy expedition focused on collecting specimens for the
dioramas of the African Hall, as well as accessories such as grass and bushes, and the creation
of background paintings from artists William Leigh and Arthur August Jansson.
Exhibition. Opened September 26, 1983 and closed October 28, 1983. Located on Floor 4 in the Library Gallery at the American Museum of Natural History. Alexander Wilson's American Ornithology featured original copperplates, prints, and volumes of Alexander Wilson's American Ornithology.
Exhibition. Opened February 10, 1996 and closed September 2, 1996. Located in Section 3, Floor 3 in Gallery 3 at the American Museum of Natural History. Amber: Window to the Past displayed amber as both a decorative and cultural object and as a scientific archive of organisms that were trapped in hardened tree resin for millions of years.
The American Museum Congo Expedition (1909-1915) was sponsored by the
American Museum of Natural History and made possible through the support of the
Belgian government. The expedition party consisted of just two men. Herbert
Lang, a German-born taxidermist and mammalogist was Expedition leader and
photographer; James Paul Chapin, a student and ornithologist who worked at the
Museum was selected to be his Assistant. The main goal was to expand the
Museum’s collection of African zoological specimens, but Lang was also tasked
with acquiring ethnographic material. The Museum was particularly eager to
obtain specimens of the recently discovered (1901) okapi and the square-lipped,
or white, rhinoceros. Lang and Chapin successfully traveled throughout the Congo
region in central Africa (modern day Zaire) to ultimately collect a massive
fifty-four tons of material and over 9000 photographs for the Museum.
Exhibition. Opened October 20, 1940 and closed October 28, 1940. Located in the Maxwell Education Hall at the American Museum of Natural History. The American Museum of Natural History Employees Camera Club Exhibition was the first public exhibition of photographs by members of the Club and featured over 100 prints.
Permanent exhibition. Opened approximately 1971. Located on Floor 2. The Akeley Gallery at the American Museum of Natural History is used for temporary exhibits funded by continuing support from the Arthur Ross Foundation (1, 2001-2003, p. 32; 1, 1974-1975, p. 24, 31; 2, p. 2).
Permanent exhibition. Opened May 19, 1936. Located on Floor 2, Section 13 and Floor 3, Section 13. The Akeley Hall of African Mammals at the American Museum of Natural History, conceived in 1909 by Carl Akeley (1864-1926), showcases the large mammals of Africa. The hall features a freestanding group of eight elephants and surrounding 28 habitat dioramas on two floors. Each diorama is a recreation of a scene observed by scientists in the field in Africa, photographed, and sketched by accompanying artists in the 1920's and 1930's. Each scene depicts a particular location at a particular time of day (1). Carl Akeley and James L. Clark were the chief taxidermists. Other artists, taxidermists, and preparators included Francis Lee Jacques, Robert Kane, James Perry Wilson, Thomas Hull, George Peterson, Robert Rockwell, Fred Scherer, Charles Bender, Albert E. Butler, Richard Raddatz, Louis Paul Jonas, William R. Leigh, Dudley M. Blakely, Joseph Guerry, George Frederick Mason, and Raymond B. Potter. Early curators included Harold Anthony, T. Donald Carter, and G.H.H. Tate. Martin and Osa Johnson contributed photographic studies for backgrounds. Major donors, expedition members, and financiers were Mary L. Jobe Akeley, William Campbell, George Eastman, C. Oliver O’Donnell, Philip Plant, Daniel Pomeroy, Gertrude, Sidney, Morris Legendre, Daniel B. Wentz, and Arthur S. Vernay (2, 1931, p. 4-6; 2, 1937, p. 61-72; 2, 1941, p. 21; 6, 2006, p. 166). Expeditions which contributed to the hall were the Akeley African Expedition, the Akeley-Eastman-Pomeroy African Hall Expedition (1926), the Carlisle-Clark African Expedition (1928), the Sanford-Patterson-Legendre Abyssinian Expedition (1928-1929), the Davison African Expedition (1933), and the William D. Campbell African Expedition (1936-1937).
Permanent exhibition. Opened approximately 1904 and closed approximately 1946-1948. Located on Floor 2, Section 3. The Allen Hall of North American Mammals featured mounts of North American mammals in display cases. In 1922 the hall was named in honor of J.A. Allen, former mammalogy curator (1, 1922 p. 22). Specimens were collected for the hall on (2, 1902, p. 11, 27; 3, 1904 p. 29-31).
Permanent exhibition. Opened February 10, 2007. Located on Floor 1, Section 4. The Anne and Bernard Spitzer Hall of Human Origins at the American Museum of Natural History opened as the "cutting edge" successor to the Hall of Human Biology. It is the first exhibition hall in the Museum to incorporate a teaching laboratory, the Sackler Education Laboratory for Comparative Genomics and Human Origins (1, 2007/08, p. 4, 41). The curators were Ian Tattersall of Anthropology and Rob DeSalle of Invertebrate Zoology. The hall covers millions of years of human history, from early ancestors who lived more than six million years ago to modern Homo sapiens, who evolved 200,000 to 150,000 years ago, pairing fossils with DNA research to present the remarkable history of human evolution (2).
Permanent exhibition. Opened May 21, 1976 and April 30, 1981. Located on Floor 1, Section 6. The Arthur Ross Hall of Meteorites at the American Museum of Natural History opened as part of a three-part exhibition with the Harry Frank Guggenheim Hall of Minerals and the Morgan Memorial Hall of Gems on May 21, 1976 (1, 1975/76, p. 20). The hall was under construction again for two years and reopened on April 30, 1981 (1, 1980/81, p. 49) The hall was completely renovated and updated in 2001 (1, 2001/03, p. 7). The curator of the hall and meteorite collection, Department of Mineral Sciences chairman Martin Prinz, worked with D. Vincent Manson who served as consultant, and Albert Woods of design firm Ramirez and Woods. The hall is named in honor of Museum trustee and benefactor of the hall, Arthur Ross (1, 1975/76 p. 20; 1, 1980/81 p. 29).
Permanent exhibition. Opened approximately 1913. Located on Floor 3, Section WC from 1913 to approximately 1939 and on Floor 4, Section 12a from approximately 1943. The Audubon Gallery at the American Museum of Natural History featured objects relating to the life of John James Audubon, including original sketches and paintings by Audubon and his sons John Woodhouse and Victor, illustrations from the Quadrupeds of North America, copper plates from the Birds of North America, a portrait of Robert Havell, engraver and publisher of Audubon's Birds of America, a gun carried by Audubon on many of his expeditions, and his buckskin hunting coat (1, 1913, p. 76; 1, 1916, p. 83; 1, 1918, p. 83). In 1939, the gallery was located on the landing between the second and third floors while being transferred to a new location. By 1943 it had moved to the fourth floor of the Roosevelt Wing (1, 1939, p. 97; 1, 194,3 p. 88). Most of the objects were donated by Audubon's granddaughters, Maria R. and Florence Audubon. Other objects were donated by M. Eliza Audubon, Dr. Edward H. Rogers, Anna E. Roelker, and Robert Havell Lockwood (1, 1913, p. 76; 1, 1919, p. 86). The gallery appears on the Museum's 2016 Floor Plan, but has been closed to the public as of 2017.
Permanent exhibition. Opened June 10, 1929 and closed approximately 1950-1952. Located on Floor 4, Section 5. The Bashford Dean Hall of Fossil Fishes at the American Museum of Natural History was located in the tower room adjoining the Hall of Fossil Reptiles. Curators included Bashford Dean and William K. Gregory (1, 1929, p. 20; 1, 1936 p. 11-12).
Permanent exhibition. Opened April 8, 1942. Located on Floor 1, Section 13. The Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals at the American Museum of Natural History features habitat dioramas of mammal species with each diorama depicting a particular time of year and day in specific North American locations (1, 1967). The hall was completed in 1954, 12 years following its opening in 1942. Additional dioramas of smaller species of North American Mammals can be found in the adjacent Hall of Small Mammals. The hall underwent one refurbishment in the 1980s (2, 1981/82, p. 48; 2, 1984/85, p. 52) and a major restoration in 2012 along with the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Hall (3). More than 25 Museum expeditions contributed to the hall, including the James Perry Wilson Expedition to Wyoming (1938) (4, 2001, p. 26). The original curator for the hall was Harold Anthony; artists for the dioramas included George Adams, Belmore Browne, James L. Clark, Albert E. Butler, James Carmel, Gardell Christensen, Raymond deLucia, Joseph Guerry, George Frederick Mason, George Petersen, Robert Rockwell, Carl Rungius, Charles Tornell, James Perry Wilson, and Paul M. Wright. Major donors and expedition financiers included Harold Clark, Harry P. Davison, Wilton Lloyd Smith, Robert McConnell, Richard K. Mellon, Harvey S. Mudd, and Beverly R. Robinson (6; 7, 2006, p. 167-168) .
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