American Museum of Natural History
For some bizarre reason every time (many, many and now losing the will) I try to send this blog it ends up eighteen inches down the page and cut off at the knees. So like the Brooklyn Bridge words and pics have had to be segregated. Weird but I have a life out there.
History: The museum was founded in 1869. Prior to construction of the present complex, the Museum was housed in the Arsenal building in Central Park. Theadore Roosevelt, Sr., the father of the 26th U.S. President, was one of the founders along with many others.
Exhibition Halls: The Museum boasts habitat dioramas of Africa, Asian and North American mammals, a full size model of a blue whale suspended in the Milstein Family Hall of Ocean Life. There is a sixty two foot Haida, a carved and painted war canoe from the Pacific northwest, and a massive piece of meteorite. The circuit of entire floor is devoted to vertebrate evolution. The Museum has extensive anthropological collections; Asian People, Pacific People, Man in Africa, American Indian, general Native American, Mexican and Central America.
Akeley Hall of African Mammals: Since its opening in 1936, the Akeley Hall has been considered by many to be one of the world’s greatest museum displays. Named after Carl Akeley (1864 – 1926) who was an extraordinary explorer who led teams of scientists and artists on three expeditions to Africa during the first two decades of the 29th century, wherein he and his colleagues carefully studies, catalogued and collected the plants and animals that even then were disappearing. He brought many specimens from the expeditions back to the Museum, and used them to create the hall, with its twenty eight dioramas (some twenty eight feet wide and twelve feet high). We spent some time bimbling about here and put just a few pictures in – no room for all of them.
The Arthur Ross Hall of Meteorites: This hall contains some of the finest specimens in the world including Ahnighito, a section of the two hundred ton Cape York meteorite, which was found at the location of the same name in Greenland. The meteorite’s great weight – at thirty four tons, makes it the largest on display in any museum in the world – requires support by columns that extend through the floor and into the bedrock below the museum.
The Bernard and Anne Spitzer Hall of Human Origins: Opened on the 10th of February 2007. Originally known as the “Hall of the Age of Man” in 1921 was the only major exhibition in the U.S. to present an in-depth investigation of human evolution. We saw what is believed to be the earliest art at 26,000 years old. A cast of the skeleton of Lucy, a 3.2 million year old fossil. The cast of the 1.7 million year old Turkana boy and one of the Peking Man.
The Harry Frank Guggenheim Hall of Minerals: Houses hundreds of unusual geological specimens. It adjoins the Morgan Memorial Hall of Gems, showcasing many rare and valuable gemstones. The 632 carat, 12 sided Patricia emerald is considered to be one of the world’s most fabulous emeralds. It was discovered during the 1920’s high in the Colombian Andes and was named after the mine owners daughter. It is one of the few large gem quality emeralds that remains uncut. The Star of India, the largest star sapphire in the world at 563 carats was discovered over three hundred years ago in Sri Lanka, donated by the financier J. P. Morgan. The thin, radiant, six pointed star or asterism, is created by incoming light that reflects from needle-like crystals of the mineral rutile which are found within the sapphire. The cabachon or dome shape is polished to enhance its beauty. On the 29th of October 1964 the Star of India along with several other precious gems was stolen, the group of burglars which included Jack Murphy, gained entrance by climbing through a bathroom window they had unlocked hours before closing time. The haul was later recovered from a locker in a Miami bus station but one of the gems – the eagle diamond was never found.
The Rose Centre and Planetarium: Opened on the 19th of February 2000 and housed in a glass cube containing the spherical space theatre designed by James Stewart Polshek. The Helibrun Cosmic Pathway is one of the most popular exhibits in the centre. The original Hayden Planetarium (1935) was demolished and was replaced at the cost of 210 million dollars.
Fun for kids: Since the film Night at the Museum, sleepovers for children are offered. A group of them settle down in their sleeping bags, get woken in the middle of the night, switch on their torches and follow the guides around the dark halls for $125. Parents have asked if they can have their own night. The museum asked the kids for their opinion “they won’t behave themselves or do as they are told”. The museum has not taken a final decision on the matter.
We had an opportunity to go to one of the big auditoriums and watch a local group, right up our street and a chance to rest our feet for half an hour
ALL IN ALL FIT IT TOGETHER FOR ME