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).
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American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West at 79th Street
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