Tympanum Over Doorway to Building for Pachyderms

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A tympanum over the doorway to an exhibition building was designed by Charles Knight, artist, at the National Zoological Park, Washington, D.C., and illustrates an American Mastodon, Wooly Mammoth, and Four-tusked Mastodon. The sign on lower left says, "Lombard and Ludwig, Inc., Architecture Sculpture, Washington, D.C." Also, the picture carries the notation that it was "Approved by Arthur Blakeslee, 11/10/36." The Elephant House is a testament to the Depression-era and to the work relief programs. The Works Projects Administration provided laborers, the federal art project (here, the Treasury Relief Art Project) funded Charles R. Knight's sculptural work, and the Public Works Administration supplied the money for construction in Washington's National Zoological Park.


  • Knight, Charles Robert 1874-1953
  • Blakeslee, Arthur
  • National Zoological Park (U.S.)
  • National Zoological Park (U.S.) Elephant House
  • Works Progress Administration (WPA)
  • Lombard and Ludwig, Inc
  • Treasury Relief Art Project


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


A tympanum is the semi-circular or triangular decorative wall surface over an entrance bounded by a lintel and arch. It often contains sculptures or other ornaments. Neg. # on back of photo 623.

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 74, Box 222, Folder: 9

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520, SIHistory@si.edu


  • November 12, 1936
  • 1929

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Decoration and ornament
  • Animals
  • Mastodon
  • Architecture
  • Depressions
  • American Mastodon
  • New Deal, 1933-1939
  • Tympana (Architecture)
  • Elephants
  • Mammoths
  • Decorative arts


  • Photographic print
  • Architecture

ID Number


Physical description

Number of Images: 1; Color: Black and white; Size: 9.75w x7.5h ; Type of Image: Architecture; Medium: Photographic print

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