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Cutting-Vernay Tibetan expedition field photographs

Identifier: PPC .C88

Scope and Contents

Field photographs from the Cutting-Vernay Expedition to Tibet.

Expedition. The Cutting-Vernay Expedition to Tibet collected ethnological objects for the American Museum of Natural History and botanical specimens for the Kew Gardens in England.

The expedition was co-led by Charles Suydam Cutting and Arthur Stannard Vernay, another AMNH trustee. Cutting worked many years to plan and make connections in order to gain permits to journey to the expeditions locations in Tibet. (1) This included many years of correspondence with the Dalai Lama including exchanges of various breeds of dogs including the first Lhasa Apso dogs to enter the US in 1933, which established the breed in the US. (2, 4) After many years of correspondence the trip took place in October of 1935. The expedition pointedly did not collect animal specimens out of respect of their hosts. (1) Up to this point foreigners were allowed no farther into Tibet than Shigatse. (2) Sources

(1) C. Suydam Cutting, “In Lhasa-The Forbidden” Natural History, February 1936, Volume XXXVII.

(2) C. Suydam Cutting, The Fire Ox and Other Years, New York, Scribner’s Sons, 1940

(3) "C. Suydam Cutting, Who Made Historic Visit to Tibet, Is Dead". The New York Times. 25 August 1972. Retrieved 8 Feb 2021.

(4) "Lhasa Apso". Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation. Accessed 8 Feb 2021.


  • 1935


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Please contact Special Collections; materials are sometimes restricted.


2 boxes (40 photographic prints)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

May 1988 from the Dept. of Anthropology.


Previous number used: Coll. #40

Condition Note

Condition reviewed 2010 good; Prints are sleeved.

Cutting-Vernay Tibetan expedition field photographs, 1935
Becca Morgan, 2024; Iris Lee, 2010
February 2, 2024
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The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation provided support to make this finding aid available in ArchivesSpace (2016-2017). Minimal level collection record created with support from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Hidden Collections grant, 2010.

Repository Details

Part of the Museum Archives at the Gottesman Research Library Repository

American Museum of Natural History
200 Central Park West
New York NY 10024 USA
(212) 769-5420