Andrews requested permission to
to go to Korea in order to ascertain whether the California Gray Whale was extinct,
as was generally thought, and to collect specimens of marine mammals. He was authorized to conduct
the expedition by Professor Osborn who was the director of the museum at the time and the museum
financed that part of the trip.
In order to conduct the necessary observations, Andrews used his existing relationship with the
Japanese Whaling Company that he established during his previous trip to the Orient. The company
allowed Andrews to study whales at
their whaling station on the Korean coast.
Andrews planned to follow the study of the whales on the coast with an expedition into the interior
of the Korean peninsula. The interior was generally unexplored and Andrews wanted to map it and to collect
mammal and bird specimens. Andrews had to raise the money for the second half of the trip.
At the end of the expedition, Andrews briefly visited China to do some sightseeing. After that he travelled
to Europe through Russia, stopping in Moscow. On the way to New York, Andrews also visited Finland,
Sweden, Norway, and Denmark.
The American Museum of Natural History Asiatic Zoological Expedition of
1916-1917 was led by Roy Chapman Andrews. The goal of the expedition was to
collect Asian mammals and birds to add to the planned Asiatic Hall of the
Museum. The Expedition traveled through areas of eastern and southwest China,
particularly in the Yunnan Province. They ultimately crossed over 2000 miles on
horseback, camping at such varied altitudes as 1500 to 15000 feet above sea
level while collecting approximately 3000 specimens for the Museum. (1)
The American Museum of Natural History's 1901-1904 Expedition to China was
one of the first American attempts to study the history and culture of a
literate, technologically sophisticated civilization. Led by Berthold Laufer,
the expedition was intended to be a holistic anthropological study, documenting
the industrial and social life of the Chinese people. Laufer's work encompassed
ethnology, archaeology and physical anthropology; his collections included
books, paintings, inscriptions, bas-reliefs, bronzes, pottery, metal mirrors,
theater puppets and musical transcriptions.(1)
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American Museum of Natural History
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