Monday, April 14, 2008

New Exhibit at the AMNH



May 17, 2008–January 4, 2009

The Horse will examine the powerful and continuing relationship between horses and humans and explore the origins of the horse family, extending back more than 50 million years. Opening to the public on May 17, this trailblazing exhibition will also explore early interactions between horses and humans that eventually led to horse domestication, and will show how horses have, over time, changed warfare, trade, transportation, agriculture, sports, and many other facets of human life.

The Horse will showcase spectacular fossils and cultural objects from around the world, many from the Museum’s extraordinary collections. Other highlights include a diorama depicting several horse species that lived ten million years ago, examples of the horse in art from the Paleolithic to the present, horse gear and armor from 15th-century Germany, and a horse-drawn fire engine from the 19th century. Exciting new archaeological discoveries shed light on the domestication of the horse, and historical artifacts trace the role of horses in sport from early forms of fox hunting to modern polo, the Triple Crown, and the Olympics.

Numerous interactive stations throughout the exhibition—including videos, computer interactives, hands-on activities, and touchable casts—will invite visitors to measure their strength in horsepower; examine different gaits of a horse by looking through a zoetrope (a precursor to the modern movie projector); and learn about the latest developments in the study of horse biology and the role of the horse in modern society. Throughout the exhibition, visitors will see unusual objects and be asked to identify them, including such items as a Roman horse shoe, a stirrup, a bit ornament, and a whip used in buzkashi, a sport on horseback played in Central Asia.

The Horse is organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York (, in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture & Heritage; Canadian Museum of Civilization, Gatineau-Ottawa; The Field Museum, Chicago; and San Diego Natural History Museum.

The Horse at the American Museum of Natural History is made possible, in part, by the Eileen P. Bernard Exhibition Fund.

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