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Carl and Mary in Africa

Identifier: Film Collection no. 24

Scope and Contents

Filmed during the AMNH Eastman-Pomeroy-Akeley East African Expedition, 1926. In the opening sequence, Carl Ethan Akeley (associate in the AMNH Department of Mammalogy, and associate curator and adviser in the AMNH Department of Preparation) watches artist William R. Leigh painting habitat studies for the background of the klipspringer group, one of the dioramas now in the museum's Akeley Hall of African Mammals. At the campsite, located in the Lukenia Hills 40 miles east of Nairobi, Leigh and artist Arthur Jansson display their canvases; preparator Richard Raddatz makes plaster casts of leaves and other accessories for habitat groups; Mary Jobe Akeley is seen writing in her tent and taxidermist Robert H. Rockwell is seen at work. Later in the mess tent Raddatz, Jansson, Mary Akeley, Rockwell, and Leigh are joined by Carl Akeley. At another campsite in Uganda, Mary Akeley disturbs a hornbill nest in the hollow of a tree so that the nest's inhabitants will appear. This sequence filmed over a long period shows the male hornbill feeding his family through the opening in the tree trunk; eventually, the juvenile is old enough to leave the nest but perches on a branch still begging for food. Robert Rockwell tans a giraffe hide at a campsite in Tanganyika (now Tanzania). Various African mammals also appear: giraffes, cows, oryxes, Burchell's zebras, Thomson's gazelles, eland, and klipspringers. The Eastman-Pomeroy-Akeley East African Expedition was Carl Akeley's last: he died on November 17, 1926, at Mount Mikeno in the Kivu district of the Belgian Congo (now Zaire).


  • 1926


Language of Materials



1 Film Reel (8 minutes) : silent, black and white ; 35 mm.

1 Videocassette (U-Matic (8 minutes)) : silent, black and white ; 3/4 in.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

3/4 in., U-Matic, viewing copy


References: Akeley, Mary Jobe. The wilderness lives again. New York, Dodd, Mead, 1940.


Original format: 35 mm. print; incomplete.

Carl and Mary in Africa, 1926
Iris Lee
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Repository Details

Part of the Museum Archives at the Gottesman Research Library Repository

American Museum of Natural History
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New York NY 10024 USA
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