Libbie Hyman Medal

Libbie Hyman Medal
Libbie Hyman Medal (front)
Libbie Hyman Medal (back view)
Mounted skeletons of man and rearing horse

Samuel Harmsted Chubb's design of mounted skeletons, used for the design of the medal

Libbie Hyman at her desk

Libbie Hyman at her desk, 1936. Photographer unknown.

In 1969, the AMNH celebrated its centennial in grand style. A 63mm commemorative medal was struck by Medallic Art Co. of New York in bronze with an edition of nine medals in gold plate. The design was meant to capture the essence of the Museum in 1969 and featured the Museum's south facade, a space capsule, and a pterosaur in flight; the verso presented the Museum's logo of the famous "Chubb mount" of the skeletons of a rearing horse and a man. The medal's image was reproduced on banners, ads on buses, and even on the napkins in the Museum's cafeteria.

Centennial Day was celebrated on April 9th, 1969, the 100th anniversary to-the-day of the signing of the Museum's charter by its founders. After a daytime academic procession and convocation, which took the curatorial staff in academic regalia on a round-the-block walk, a formal dinner was held in the Hall of Ocean Life. Mayor John Lindsay greeted the guests before Museum President Gardiner Stout presented the three Apollo 9 astronauts (Col . McDivitt, Mr. Schweickart, and Col. Scott) with gold Centennial Medals "for Leadership Among Men in the Search for Knowledge." Five distinguished scientists—Dr. Theodosius Dobzhansky, Dr. Libbie Hyman, Dr. Ernst Mayr, Dr. Margaret Mead and Dr. George Gaylord Simpson—were cited individually and also presented with gold medals.

This gold Centennial Medal seen here was awarded to Libbie Hyman (1888 December 6–1969 August 3) just a few months before her death. Scientist, zoologist, author, Hyman researched and published numerous writings on invertebrates, including her classic six volume work, The Invertebrates. She became affiliated with the American Museum of Natural History in 1933, as a research associate in the Department of Experimental Biology. In 1943, she was named research associate in the Department of Invertebrates. She is the author of numerous publications, including: A Laboratory Manual for Elementary Zoology, A Laboratory Manual for Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy, and six volumes of The Invertebrates.

Written by Tom Baione

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