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Ticketed Talk

The American Bison: Live and Sculpted

American Bison

This event is part of the Met Salon Series.
Curators illuminate current exhibitions in an informal setting over light refreshments.

Patrick Thomas, Vice President & General Curator and Associate Director, Bronx Zoo, Wildlife Conservation Society.
Thayer Tolles, Marica F. Vilcek Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture, The American Wing, MMA.

As the North American bison population was hunted from millions to mere hundreds by  the early 1880s, the animal captured the popular imagination as a symbol of the Old West. Sculptors produced bronze statuettes representing the bison as a metaphor for a bygone past, basing their work on direct observations from western travels as well as visits to urban zoos. Their eastern destination of choice was the Bronx Zoo, which opened to the public in 1899, and led efforts to display bison in an appropriate habitat setting and to repopulate the breed in its native West. The speakers for this event examine the impact and interconnectedness of artistic representations and conservation efforts, past and present, involving this iconic animal.

This lecture is made possible by the Clara Lloyd-Smith Weber Fund.

This program is in conjunction with the exhibition 'The American West in Bronze, 1850-1925,' on view through April 13, 2014.

Above: Alexander Phimister Proctor (American, 1860–1950). Buffalo, 1912. Bronze; 13 1/2 x 19 x 9 3/4 in. (34.3 x 48.3 x 24.8 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Bequest of George D. Pratt, 1935 (48.149.29)

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The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium and the Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education are equipped with infrared sound enhancement systems (with headsets and neck loops). To obtain a headset or neck loop please ask an usher. Headsets and neck loops are available free of charge with identification. Real-time captioning is also available upon request.