Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Museum of a Notion

New York City
From the steps of the American Museum of Natural History, the stare of a dominant figure looks past the tamed wildlands of central park out to the distant pulse of nature. As one of the top museums proclaiming the natural world, the AMNH influence has only grown as the city has closed in around it. It houses a million stories of wild lives from around the world- but it also houses a story from a family from around the block. At the American Museum of Natural History, one Theodore Roosevelt looms behind the museum while another rises at its front.

Theodore Roosevelt Sr was one of the leading advocates for the inception of this museum. By the time his son was of an impressionable age, visits to the museum inspired the younger 'Teedie’ to collect and display his own wild curios. Those formative ventures into archiving his discoveries of the natural world, provided a powerful hint at his later capacities. As president, Theodore Roosevelt Jr would continue to archive and showcase the natural world, but he was able do so on America’s grandest stage.

Roosevelt Jr's greatest of legacies has preserved America in its purest form through the creation of 5 national parks, 18 national monuments, 51 bird reserves and 150 national forests. These fortuitous efforts have allowed a century’s worth of celebration and study and given Americans insight into their intrinsic America. By any standard, quite an achievement from a young curator and would-be president.

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