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Today we worked with a collection of records from the Department of Invertebrate Zoology, primarily consisting of correspondence about specimens between AMNH scientists and their colleagues at other institutions. Though the bulk of the collection was from the 1960s – 1980s, we did come across a set of original drawings from 1939 done by George H. Childs, who was a scientific artist for the Museum at the time. According to his biographical file in the AMNH Research Library, Childs created many diagrammatic displays for Museum exhibitions, including those found in the Hall of North American Forests. The drawings in this collection, which are sketches for a proposed exhibition, came with a long letter that Childs wrote from his trip to Santa Catalina, where he was doing research for a possible exhibition on kelp gardens in the water near the island. His letter extensively details the types of species he found on his research trip. It also makes note of the then recent news that World War II has begun, with Childs stating that he feels concerned and distracted by the news.
The drawings appear to have been done using colored pencil and are in very good condition. Below, you can see Childs’ idea of how a diorama of the Santa Catalina Kelp Gardens at the AMNH would appear from the exhibition hall.
Looking at the below drawing, you can see that his vision for the exhibition involved a walk-through, immersive, experience – much like being underwater.
In the below drawing you can see the idea for what would have been the floor plan.
From what we can tell, this exhibition never came to fruition, but it was fascinating to learn about how the research and conceptualizing process works.
TagsAinu AMNH library catalog Anthropology Archives Archbold Archival Arrangement archives Authority Names CAT Cataloging CLIR 2010 clir 2012 Correspondence Crocker Land Department of Preparation and Installation Department Records EAC-CPF expeditions Fall 2011 Field Notes Finding Aid finding aids Hayden Planetarium Herpetology Archives hidden connections IMLS LARA linked data Mammalogy Archives Manuscript Collection Museum History Non-Curatorial Field Notes Ornithology Archives Paleontology Archives Phase 2 photographs Photo Print Collection Processing Research Library Risk Assessment Slide Collection Spring 2011 Spring 2012 Summer 2011 Summer 2012 T. Don Carter
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