American Museum Congo Expedition (1909-1915)

Watercolor painting of a green fish on paper. Hemichromis fasciatus, Avakubi, Congo. Watercolor by James Chapin, American Museum Congo Expedition (1909-1915).
The American Museum Congo Expedition (1909-1915) was sponsored by the American Museum of Natural History and made possible through the support of the Belgian government. 

The expedition party consisted of just two men. Herbert Lang, a German-born taxidermist and mammalogist was Expedition leader and photographer; James Paul Chapin, a student and ornithologist who worked at the Museum was selected to be his Assistant. The main goal was to expand the Museum’s collection of African zoological specimens, but Lang was also tasked with acquiring ethnographic material. The Museum was particularly eager to obtain specimens of the recently discovered (1901) okapi and the square-lipped, or white, rhinoceros. Lang and Chapin successfully traveled throughout the Congo region in central Africa (Modern day Democratic Republic of the Congo) to ultimately collect a massive fifty-four tons of material and over 9000 photographs for the Museum.

Video: American Museum Congo Expedition 1909-1915
Narration by: Felicity Nduku
Written by: Gordy Slack

The Congo Expedition Research Guide is comprised of content migrated from a 2002 website funded through a grant by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. An archived version of the legacy website is available through the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine.