Monthly Archives: July 2014

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

Shaping Wildlife: Animal Art in the Early Days of the Bronx Zoo (Part 1)

2016pc069“Intrepid are the artists who dare the wrath of wild beasts in the New York Zoological Park.”

So proclaimed a 1906 New York Tribune feature on the artists who studied their subjects at the New York Zoological Park, or Bronx Zoo, as it became more commonly known. To be sure, any work involving wild animals can be dangerous. Yet while Bronx Zoo officials could never guarantee the behavior of the animals in their charge, they set a new precedent for accommodating and encouraging artists working at the Zoo.  Continue reading