About the Hall
Each of the 43 dioramas in the stunningly restored Hall of North American Mammals offers a snapshot of North America’s rich environmental heritage.
The hall, which first opened in 1942, focuses on 46 mammal species ranging from the nine-banded armadillo to white-tailed deer, and its dioramas are widely considered the finest in the world.
For more than a year, a team of artists, conservators, taxidermists, and designers worked to re-color faded fur, dust delicate leaves, and selectively restore the background paintings for the historic hall's reopening in October 2012. Text accompanying each diorama was updated to offer the latest scientific information about featured species.
The Hall of North American Mammals reopened together with the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial, New York State’s official memorial to its 33rd Governor and the nation’s 26th President—and a lasting tribute to Roosevelt’s enduring conservation legacy. This conservation legacy is powerfully represented by many of the dioramas in the Hall of North American Mammals, which depict landscapes and species that have been preserved in large part due to conservation policies Roosevelt championed. Several of the dioramas re-create scenes from national parks Roosevelt signed into being or national monuments he declared, including Crater Lake National Park, part of Grand Canyon National Park (which Roosevelt set aside as Grand Canyon National Monument), and Devils Tower National Monument, among others. As an avid natural historian, Roosevelt greatly expanded the public understanding of North American fauna and worked for the protection of animals featured in the hall, including the bison.
Today, the Museum carries on the tradition of environmental stewardship through its own conservation work in the United States and around the world and through its exhibitions and educational programs.