Saturday, September 12, 2009

Hall of Heads and Horns c. 1910

From the Boone and Crockett Club:

"By the end of Roosevelt's presidency, things were indeed looking bleak for many of the native big-game animals. Bison were reduced to a few hundred head, and whitetails and other big game were largely eliminated from the states east of the Mississippi. Many folks believed there could be no other final result of civilization's push west than the extinction of all big game. Even several prominent Club members such as William T. Hornaday and Madison Grant agreed with this dismal forecast. During the years of 1906-1922, Hornaday worked industriously to establish the National Collection of Heads and Horns at the Bronx Zoo in New York City."


  1. I don't think Hornaday was ever a member as it says here -- he hadn't killed enough trophy animals.

    I vaguely recall reading that never being invited to join the club was a huge point of contention with him.

    This photo is from the Hall of Heads and Horns at the Bronx Zoo. The collection is now on display, according the B&C club, at the Cody museum.

  2. Honoring Roosevelt: The Sagamore Hill Awards....

  3. Quite a display! Makes me think of "The Most Dangerous Game" for some reason,

  4. I was hoping I could find a photo of that to post -- it fascinates me.

    I visited the heads and horns building when I did some research at the zoo last year, but the heads and horns were long gone, alas.

    I love the way they describe the extinction of all big native game and heads and horns in one seamless paragraph.

  5. On a travel show the other night I saw a castle (Franz Ferdinand's maybe?) that had enough heads & horns to put this place to shame.

  6. The one thing that I can never get over looking at in that photo is the giraffe. For some reason, that one head just seems weird to me. There's also something about those tiny heads in the right foreground. What are those? Rare mice with antlers? Jackalopes perhaps?

    I need to go to the Cody Museum and see this collection. I've been there several times but have never gone through this room. They also have an entire collection of guns at the museum that I always avoid, so maybe the two are connected.

  7. Really, avrds? More power to you, going there would completely creep me out. I have a co-worker who wanted to show me family photos of one of her sons, a military man, proudly displaying dead animals on the walls of his home in one of those big hunter states--I couldn't hide a gasp, thinking of how my animal lovin' kid would react to such sights. She was also very proud when the same son, promoted to colonel or from that to whatever's next, was "chosen" to officiate in some capacity at Guantanamo. Fortunately, she found other co-workers to turn her attention to.

  8. Yes, that's why I've never gone in there before. I'm with your daughter on that. Have never been in the gun collection either.

    Ironically I'm researching the history of two zoos and I hate zoos, too. But that's exactly the connection I'm trying to make -- from [dead] animal displays to [live] animal displays.

    When I was in DC last spring I went to the National Zoo, one of my interests, and couldn't make it past the elephants. Too upsetting for me.

    What we do for research!

  9. All I remember of the National Zoo was a period when I was dating an Indian gentleman who loved to go there to visit "Ranee" the white tigress about whose occasional pregnancies everyone became greatly excited in hopes there would be white tiger young, but alas, in spite of special diet, treats, etc., all turned out to be false pregnancies.

    I took both my children to zoos, though, because both were animal lovers and that's where the animals were. After a certain age neither wanted to go to them any more, the last family outing to any such was with the younger to the San Diego wild animal park, sans cages, enclosures, etc. We did like that.