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Reflecting the Sublime: The Rebirth of an American Icon

Coffman, Douglas
Reflecting the Sublime: The Rebirth of an American Icon
United States National Museum
Data Source:
Smithsonian Archives - History Div
Fort Benton, Montana: The River & Plains Society
Coffman traces the remarkable history of the bison group prepared by the noted taxidermist William Temple Hornaday for the United States National Museum at the Smithsonian. The author opens with Hornaday's completion of an iconic museum display of American bison in 1888 and the note he tucked into its base for his successors. He follows the specimens as they are removed in the Exhibits Modernization Program at the National Museum of Natural History in the 1950s and their transfer to Montana and dispersal to a several sites, the University of Montana at Missoula, the Montana Office of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, and the Museum of the Rockies. Coffman traces the detective work necessary to locate all the specimens, document their ownership, and restore and recreate Hornaday's American bison group at the Museum of the Northern Great Plains in Fort Benton, Montana, in 1996. The story is filled with twists and turns, and captures the dedication and determination of those, especially Coffman himself, who sought to "give the devil his due" (to quote Hornaday) and preserve his display for generations to come.
American bison, Zoological specimens--Collection and preservation, Taxidermy, Taxidermists, Wildlife conservation, Exhibitions, Buffalo, Mammals, Animals, Specimens, Endangered species
National Museum of Natural History (U.S.), United States National Museum, United States National Museum Division of Mammals, National Collections, South Hall of the United States National Museum, Exhibits Modernization Program United States National Museum, Montana Agricultural Center and Museum Museum of the Northern Great Plains, University of Montana--Missoula, University of Montana (Missoula, Mont. : 1965-1994), Montana Fish and Game Commission, Montana Board of Game and Fish Commissioners, Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Commission, Museum of the Rockies
Smithsonian History Bibliography
Physical Description:
Number of pages : 67; Page numbers : 1-54
Full Record:!sichronology&uri=full=3100001~!14090~!0#focus
Reflecting the Sublime: The Rebirth of an American Icon

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