American Museum of Natural History, Theodore Roosevelt, Hall of North American Mammals
"No institution is better suited than the American Museum of Natural History to tell the incredible story of Theodore Roosevelt's brave leadership role in spearheading the conservation movement of the early 20th century," said Douglas Brinkley, professor of history at Rice University. "The Museum is the cradle of conservation in the United States, with its chief promoter being Theodore Roosevelt, and they partnered together to create a revolution of natural preservation. With today's problems of unprecedented stress on the global environment, our 26th President's stalwart resolution to protect our natural resources and wilderness areas are inspirational."
"Most Americans are familiar with Theodore Roosevelt's legacy as President of the United States, but few fully appreciate his lifelong passion for conservation and the American wilderness," said David Hurst Thomas, curator in the Museum's Division of Anthropology who served as the supervising curator for the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Hall. "Theodore Roosevelt literally grew up in our halls and laboratories, giving him an insider's view of the natural world. He became a world-class birder and would have been a stellar curatorial colleague. During his presidential and post-presidential career, his crusade to save the American wilderness left an indelible legacy, and our new exhibition tells the story of his role in preserving our natural lands for all species-including humans."
The approximately $40 million Theodore Roosevelt Memorial restoration project was completed with significant private and public support, including $23 million from the Empire State Development Corporation and $11.5 million from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the Council of the City of New York, and the support of New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, and New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.
Beginning with a number of special events for the grand public reopening on Saturday, October 27, the Museum will host a yearlong series of programs devoted to examining the lasting legacy of Theodore Roosevelt's conservation efforts and connecting them to contemporary conservation policies and science. Upcoming programs include "Nature and Poetry: A Conversation with E. O. Wilson and Robert Hass" on December 6, featuring the noted biologist E. O. Wilson and U. S. Poet Laureate Robert Haas.
On October 27, nature lovers and Theodore Roosevelt enthusiasts can choose from a number of engaging activities to inspire the naturalist in all of us. (For more information, see the Opening Day and Yearlong Celebration Public Programming releases.)
The supervising curator for the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Hall was David Hurst Thomas, a curator in the Museum's Division of Anthropology.
Douglas G. Brinkley, a professor of history at Rice University, Roosevelt historian, and author of The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America, the definitive biography of Roosevelt as a conservationist, served as a consultant for the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Hall. Patricia O'Toole, Roosevelt biographer and an associate professor at Columbia University, also served as a consultant.
Ross D. E. MacPhee, a curator in the Museum's Department of Mammalogy, served as supervising curator for the restoration of the Hall of North American Mammals, with Roland Kays, a professor at North Carolina State University, consulting. Artist Stephen C. Quinn, a senior project manager in the Museum's Department of Exhibition, directed the diorama restoration project.
The American Museum of Natural History, founded in 1869, is one of the world's preeminent scientific, educational, and cultural institutions. The Museum encompasses 46 permanent exhibition halls, including the Rose Center for Earth and Space and the Hayden Planetarium, as well as galleries for temporary exhibitions. Five active research divisions and three cross-disciplinary centers support 200 scientists, whose work draws on a world-class Permanent Collection of more than 32 million specimens and artifacts, including specialized collections for frozen tissue and genomic and astrophysical data, as well as one of the largest natural history libraries in the Western Hemisphere. Through its Richard Gilder Graduate School, it is the only American museum authorized to grant the Ph.D. degree. In 2012, the Museum began offering a pilot Master of Arts in Teaching with a specialization in earth science. Approximately 5 million visitors from around the world came to the Museum last year, and its exhibitions and Space Shows can be seen in venues on five continents. The Museum's website and collection of apps for mobile devices extend its collections, exhibitions, and educational programs to millions more beyond its walls. Visit amnh.org for more information.
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