Subtitled James L. Clark Archives and the Construction of Habitat Dioramas at the American Museum of Natural History, this exhibit offers unprecedented access to the work of James L. (Lippit) Clark (1883-1969). Clark was an artist, explorer, big-game hunter, entrepreneur, museum preparator and director. He completed the construction of the Hall of African Mammals for the museum in New York, and planned and constructed the museums Asian Hall and North American Hall of Mammals.
The Vancouver exhibition presents three dramatic panoramas enlarged from the original shots taken with Kodak Cirkut cameras in Kenya between 1920 and 1930. One commemorates the African Hall expedition, and the other two were used as source material to create the background of the Water Hole Group diorama. The photographs provide visitors to Satellite Gallery with an immersive environment in which to consider how African nature was seen, understood and measured for reconstruction and representation at the American Museum of Natural History.
A second part of the exhibit can be seen online at www.natureknowledgeknower.com. The online archive, made public for the first time, allows access to a selection of visual materials originally collected and organized by Clark to facilitate making the habitat dioramas.
Satellite Gallery is an experimental exhibition space shared by the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery (UBC), the Museum of Anthropology (University of British Columbia), and Presentation House Gallery. It is a Michael OBrian Family Foundation project.