Author Archives: Madeleine Thompson

WCS Awarded NEH Preservation Assistance Grant

neh_50_logo_2colorWe are very pleased to report that we have received a Preservation Assistant Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities! This grant will support a general preservation assessment of the WCS Archives film collection, which contains approximately 2,200 film prints created by WCS zoo, aquarium, and field conservation staff over the twentieth century. A preservation consultant will conduct a formal assessment of the film collection and its storage environment in order to inform the Archives’ goals of creating a sustainable preservation plan for the collection and making it accessible.The assessment will support the Archives’ future ability to budget and plan for the collection’s rehousing and stabilization and determine options for the collection’s future accessibility.

We look forward to keeping you updated as the assessment gets underway this year!

For more on the NEH’s recent awards announcement, see here.

The Gift of an Angry Badger

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 6.56.25 PMTheodore Roosevelt, who was born 157 years ago today, provided WCS with the gifts of great moral and political support in the organization’s early years.  It was Roosevelt who appointed the committee of Boone and Crockett Club members who eventually founded the New York Zoological Society.  Roosevelt also endorsed the formation of the American Bison Society and served as its first honorary president.  And he spoke out in support of Bronx Zoo Director William T. Hornaday’s (in the end unsuccessful) 1915 campaign to increase wildlife sanctuaries in national forests.  Continue reading

More WCS Ephemera Online

Capture We’re pleased to report that more of our materials are now available online–specifically some fun Bronx Zoo and New York Aquarium ephemera from our Publications and Printed Ephemera collection.  Thanks to the excellent Culture in Transit Program, we now have 112 additional items up at METRO’s Digital Culture of Metropolitan New York site.  This is a fraction of this large and always growing collection, and we hope to add more in the coming years.  Continue reading

A Jungle in the Bronx

1028-Exhibits-JW-19850621-ProgramThirty years ago today, the Bronx Zoo’s JungleWorld exhibit opened to the public.  Posed in the 1985 NYZS Annual Report as an “experiment” that built upon decades of innovations in zoogeographic exhibition, JungleWorld sought to break new ground in wild animal care and exhibition, and it was widely considered the most ambitious indoor zoological environment ever created at the time.  Continue reading

Happy Birthday, Helen Martini!

Image of Helen Martini with baby panther in her Bronx apartment, circa 1940s. Scanned from WCS Photo Collection

Image of Helen Martini with baby panther in her Bronx apartment, circa 1940s. Scanned from WCS Photo Collection

Today marks what would have been Helen Martini’s 103rd birthday. For more on her and on this great photo, check out WCS’s Photo Blog, Wild View.

The Rainey Gates [Part 1]

IMG_8392medThis post was written by Kimio Honda,  Studio Manager in WCS’s Exhibition and Graphic Arts Department.

My interest in the Bronx Zoo and the New York Zoological Society goes back to my teenage years in Japan. When I was transferred to New York for my work, I got to know some people at the zoo. Many years later I started working at the Exhibition and Graphic Arts Department (known around here as EGAD). As a result, I have had a chance to know more intimately the works of art around our parks and to hear some interesting stories.  Continue reading

Celebrating a Milestone in the History of Marine Studies

William Beebe peers out of the Bathysphere, 1934. WCS Photo Collection

William Beebe peers out of the Bathysphere, 1934. WCS Photo Collection

Today we celebrate the historic scientific expeditions that William Beebe undertook in the Bathysphere–including his record-setting dive to the deepest depths ever ventured by a human on August 15, 1934. To read the rest of this post, check out the WCS Photo blog, Wild View.

And come visit the Bathysphere and see some of the Department of Tropical Research artwork this summer at the New York Aquarium! The exhibition Drawn from the Depths, curated by Katherine McLeod, opens today, and the Aquarium is hosting a special NYA@Night tonight.  For more information and tickets, visit NYA@Night.

Shaping Wildlife: Animal Art in the Early Days of the Bronx Zoo (Part 2)

Wildlife Conservation Society_476_Proctor sculpting baboon_BZ_00 00 00_cropThis is the second part of a two-part blog post on art in the early days of the Bronx Zoo. See here for part 1.

Beyond the Bronx Zoo’s Lion House studio, New York Zoological Society officials attempted to oblige artists working at the Zoo. Director William T. Hornaday arranged a special reduced rate for artists at the nearby Parkway Hotel. “The place seems respectable,” he assured visiting artists, “although of course there is a bar-room attachment”—a feature that possibly bothered the teetotaling Hornaday more than his artist guests. Hornaday also sent out a general order to all employees that “artists, sculptors, zoologists and students generally” were to be given special attention and “whenever possible, seats should be offered.”   Continue reading