Fossils Hall


Ralph Appelbaum Associates

Practice Area


American Museum of Natural History

Project Vision

Restored, reinterpreted and remounted in 1996, the fourth-floor fossil halls at the American Museum of Natural History are home to many world-renowned specimens. New graphics help communicate new scientific thinking about evolution, and help visitors understand the practice of science. The Hall of Vertebrate Origins explains how early vertebrates came out of the oceans on to land. Specimens and models are hung overhead, with labels on railing beneath them. All exhibits in the main path can be taken apart with a hex wrench, useful for special events and dining occasions.

Project Details
Juror 1
Design Team

Ralph Appelbaum, Melanie Ide, Miranda K. Smith (content coordinator), Laura Genninger, Elisabeth Cannell, Douglas Balder, Francis O’Shea (project administrator), Shari Berman, David Ortega, Vicci Ward (graphics administrator), Sylvia Juran (editor)

Design Firm

Ralph Appelbaum Associates


Rathe Productions, Charles Maltbie Associates; H.M. Brandston & Partners (lighting design); The Chedd-Angier Production Co. (video software); C-Wave (computer software); Hall Train (animation); Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates (architecture); Electrosonic (audio-visual systems); Sculpture House Casting (castings)