Gedón and Vicente Alvarez

ID: SIA2009-4260 or Wetmore 6031

Creator: Wetmore, Alexander 1886-

Form/Genre: Photographic print

Date: January 11, 1956

Citation: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Alexander Wetmore Papers, Record Unit 7006, Box: 183, Folder Album: Panama and Coiba, 1956

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  • Gedón (Armagedón) Hartmann (left) and Vicente Alvarez (right) on Catival, Coiba Island on January 11, 1956. The two men were both members of Wetmore's scientific expedition in the region. Both Gedón and Vicente are holding bird specimens and firearms. The two men are looking to their left and standing in a wooded, grassy area.
  • The image was taken by Smithsonian Secretary and ornithologist Alexander Wetmore while on a scientific expedition in Panama and to Coiba Island and is contained in a photo album prepared by Wetmore.
  • When Wetmore made his trips to Panama, he always requested Ratibor Hartmann to be his assistant. Ratibor Hartmann was the eldest son of Alois Hartmann, who had helped on medical and naturalists' expeditions because of his knowledge of the area and Panamanian archeology to explore the jungles of the Western Highlands of Chiriquí. Ratibor took over from his father leading expeditions from the Gorgas Memorial Institute, where he worked, and several United States academic institutions in the field. Ratibor and his brother Gedón (Armagedón) Hartmann accompanied Wetmore on many of his expeditions.
  • From 1919 to 1991, Coiba Island was a penal colony. Fear of the prison and its inmates deterred visitors from the island. As such, about 80% of the natural areas on the island remain undisturbed. The island is also host to many endemic species. Both of these factors made the island ideal for Wetmore's scientific expedition. The officers and convicts pictured in Wetmore's images from the expedition were part of the penal colony. Some even worked as laborers for the expedition. Today, the island is no longer a penal colony. Instead, it is one of 38 islands composing Coiba National Park, a World Heritage Site.


  • Alvarez, Vicente
  • Hartmann, Armagedón


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


Image contained in a photo album prepared by Alexander Wetmore of his trip to Panama to Coiba Island. For more images of Vicente Alvarez, see negative numbers SIA2009-4256, SIA2009-4259, SIA2009-4272, SIA2009-4285, SIA2009-4286, and SIA2009-4290. For more images of Gedón, see negative numbers SIA2009-4261, SIA2009-4268, SIA2009-4271, SIA2009-4272, and SIA2009-4285.

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Alexander Wetmore Papers, Record Unit 7006, Box: 183, Folder Album: Panama and Coiba, 1956

Contact information

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


January 11, 1956

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Scientific expeditions
  • Animals
  • Collectors and collecting
  • Specimens
  • Birds
  • Field work
  • School field trips
  • Firearms
  • Islands
  • Natural areas
  • Field trips
  • Ornithology--Field work
  • Ornithology
  • Panamanians


  • Coiba Island
  • Veraguas
  • Catival
  • Panama
  • Coiba Island (Panama)
  • Montijo District


  • Photographic print
  • Group, candid

ID Number

SIA2009-4260 or Wetmore 6031

Physical description

Number of Images: 1; Color: Black and White; Size: 4.75w x 4.5h; Type of Image: Group, Candid; Medium: Photographic print

Full Record

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