1. Dinoland at the 1964-5 New York World’s Fair: Museum Connections

    Fifty years ago today, the 1964−1965 New York World’s Fair opened at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. During the Fair’s two six-month runs, it drew over 50 million visitors to Queens to see a multitude of exhibitions showcasing technological innovations and international cultures.

    As noted in the New York Times last week, one of the highlights was the Dinoland pavilion, sponsored by Sinclair Oil Corporation, which featured nine life-size models of dinosaurs, including Brontosaurus (now  Apatosaurus), Triceratops, and a 20-foot-tall Tyrannosaurus rex, that loomed over enthralled visitors in a spectacular outdoor re-creation of a Jurassic environment. 

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    Tyrannosaurus rex from the Sinclair Oil Corporation Dinoland pavilion. Via Flickr/Karen Horton

    The towering sculptures were crafted out of fiberglass by wildlife artist Louis Paul Jonas, who earlier in his career had studied with naturalist and pioneering taxidermist Carl Akeley. Jonas had even helped create the African elephant group for the Museum’s Akeley Hall of African Mammals as well as sculptures for the Hall of Asian Mammals. To produce Dinoland’s fiberglass models, Jonas worked with another Museum luminary: the then-89-year-old Barnum Brown, the fossil hunter who had discovered T. rex at the turn of the 20th century.

    Click here for a video about Barnum Brown. 

    By the early 1900s, Brown had gained fame as a great dinosaur collector (and as a snappy dresser), sending back more then 1,200 crates of fossils back to the American Museum of Natural History from far-flung expeditions. (For more about Brown’s incredible life and career, read the 2010 book Barnum Brown: The Man Who Discovered Tyrannosaurus Rex by Museum Curator Mark Norell, chair of the Division of Paleontology, and Research Associate Lowell Dingus.) 

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    By the time preparations for the 1964 New York World’s Fair were getting under way, Brown had become a bona fide celebrity, hosting a weekly CBS radio broadcast and consulting on Walt Disney’s Fantasia. As the man who had introduced American audiences to dinosaurs and fossil hunting, and as the curator of vertebrate paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History, Brown was the natural choice to consult on Dinoland, an attraction designed to bring together then-recent scientific discoveries with the spectacle of a prehistoric world populated by dinosaurs.

    While working on the exhibition, Brown traveled frequently to Louis Paul Jonas’s studio, in Hudson, NY. Unfortunately, Brown did not live to see Dinoland become a reality; he died shortly before the opening of the World’s Fair on April 22, 1964.

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    Brown measuring the femur of Tyrannosaurus rex, 1938 (AMNH Vertebrate Paleontology Archive, 5:6 Portrait box)

    Today, Brown’s legacy continues not just in the fossil halls of the Museum—where no fewer than 57 of the specimens on display are his discoveries—but in the in the worldwide love of dinosaurs and paleontology that he helped to spark.

  2. Happy Earth Day!
From the archives: Children viewing Globe of the World exhibit in the Hall of Earth History. Photographed by Alex J. Rota in 1969.  AMNH/333906
Find more many more archival images on our new online database of digital images from the Library’s collections. 
If you’re a real history buff, don’t miss our upcoming Slide Slam, happening Monday, April 28. New York-based artists Alexis Rockman and Mark Dion will share how the Museum’s Library collections have influenced their work, and as a memento, each guest will receive a packet of historic 35 mm slides from the Library’s collection!

Find out more about this event.

    Happy Earth Day!

    From the archives: Children viewing Globe of the World exhibit in the Hall of Earth History. Photographed by Alex J. Rota in 1969.  AMNH/333906

    Find more many more archival images on our new online database of digital images from the Library’s collections. 

    If you’re a real history buff, don’t miss our upcoming Slide Slam, happening Monday, April 28. New York-based artists Alexis Rockman and Mark Dion will share how the Museum’s Library collections have influenced their work, and as a memento, each guest will receive a packet of historic 35 mm slides from the Library’s collection!

    Find out more about this event.

  3. Happy Birthday to John Muir! 
Born in 1838, Muir was a naturalist and preservationist who founded the sierraclub. In 1903, Muir took Theodore Roosevelt on a famous camping tour of Yosemite and persuaded the President to add Mariposa Grove and Yosemite Valley to Yosemite National Park.
Did you know? The new Theodore Roosevelt sculpture at the center of the recently reopened Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Hall depicts the President as he looked during that Yosemite trip. 
Learn more.

    Happy Birthday to John Muir!

    Born in 1838, Muir was a naturalist and preservationist who founded the sierraclub. In 1903, Muir took Theodore Roosevelt on a famous camping tour of Yosemite and persuaded the President to add Mariposa Grove and Yosemite Valley to Yosemite National Park.


    Did you know? The new Theodore Roosevelt sculpture at the center of the recently reopened Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Hall depicts the President as he looked during that Yosemite trip.

    Learn more.

  4. On April 28, New York-based artists Alexis Rockman and Mark Dion will share how the Museum’s Library collections have influenced their work. Library Director Tom Baione hosts the event to mark the launch of a new online database of digital images from the Museum Library’s collections.

Browse the rich collection of digitized archives and find what inspires you!

Image credits (from top left, clockwise)
-Bear (Mark Dion):Courtesy the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York-Rice, H. S. and Dutcher, Irving, “Children viewing Polar Bear Group, 1927.”-Forest floor (Alexis Rockman):Courtesy the artist and Sperone Westwater Gallery, New York-Rota, Alex J., “Installing models for the Forest Floor exhibit, 1958.”

    On April 28, New York-based artists Alexis Rockman and Mark Dion will share how the Museum’s Library collections have influenced their work. Library Director Tom Baione hosts the event to mark the launch of a new online database of digital images from the Museum Library’s collections.

    Browse the rich collection of digitized archives and find what inspires you!

    Image credits (from top left, clockwise)

    -Bear (Mark Dion):
    Courtesy the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York
    -Rice, H. S. and Dutcher, Irving, “Children viewing Polar Bear Group, 1927.”
    -Forest floor (Alexis Rockman):
    Courtesy the artist and Sperone Westwater Gallery, New York
    -Rota, Alex J., “Installing models for the Forest Floor exhibit, 1958.”

  5. From the Archives: Time exposure showing six stages at beginning of lunar eclipse, 1960.

Did you see the lunar eclipse last night? Check out the Museum’s online database of digital images for more pictures of eclipses dating as far back as 1908, and read the Sky Reporter blog to learn more about this phenomena.
AMNH/K10559

    From the Archives: Time exposure showing six stages at beginning of lunar eclipse, 1960.

    Did you see the lunar eclipse last night? Check out the Museum’s online database of digital images for more pictures of eclipses dating as far back as 1908, and read the Sky Reporter blog to learn more about this phenomena.

    AMNH/K10559

  6. From the Archives: Museum photographer Thane L. Biewert photographs a colleague photographing Tyrannosaurus rex. (1937) 
Barnum Brown, known as the greatest dinosaur collector of all time, discovered and excavated this specimen starting in 1902. Learn about Brown’s extraordinary career.
Browse more images from the archives.AMNH/315293

    From the Archives: Museum photographer Thane L. Biewert photographs a colleague photographing Tyrannosaurus rex. (1937)

    Barnum Brown, known as the greatest dinosaur collector of all time, discovered and excavated this specimen starting in 1902. 
    Learn about Brown’s extraordinary career.

    Browse more images from the archives.
    AMNH/315293

  7. From the archives: “Plant, bottom of Grand Canyon, Arizona,” (date unknown).
This hand-colored image comes from the American Museum of Natural History’s lantern slide collection, originally used to illustrate public lectures at the Museum. The lectures were so successful that a new and larger theater was constructed in 1900 to accommodate the growing crowds. 
(c) AMNH Library/LS239-58

    From the archives: “Plant, bottom of Grand Canyon, Arizona,” (date unknown).

    This hand-colored image comes from the American Museum of Natural History’s lantern slide collection, originally used to illustrate public lectures at the Museum. The lectures were so successful that a new and larger theater was constructed in 1900 to accommodate the growing crowds. 

    (c) AMNH Library/LS239-58

  8. From the archives: a Viking Rocket on display at the Hayden Planetarium in 1955. 
This rocket was one of 12 that launched from 1945 to 1955, allowing new research on Earth’s upper atmosphere to be conducted. Learn more.AMNH Library/983

    From the archives: a Viking Rocket on display at the Hayden Planetarium in 1955.

    This rocket was one of 12 that launched from 1945 to 1955, allowing new research on Earth’s upper atmosphere to be conducted. Learn more.

    AMNH Library/983

  9. “Drawing of proposed African Hall, 1925”
For more images from the archives, browse the Picturing the Museum collection.
AMNH Library/310891

    “Drawing of proposed African Hall, 1925”

    For more images from the archives, browse the Picturing the Museum collection.

    AMNH Library/310891

  10. From the archives: preparing an exhibit for the Hall of Biology of Man, 1961See all the images from the Picturing the Museum collection here.AMNH Library/327771

    From the archives: preparing an exhibit for the Hall of Biology of Man, 1961

    See all the images from the Picturing the Museum collection here.

    AMNH Library/327771