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Theodore Roosevelt and the East Africa Safari, 1909–10

America’s Presidents (installation) through July 20, 2014


Roosevelt In 1909, 12 days after leaving office, Theodore Roosevelt set out on a hunting and scientific expedition to British East Africa (now Kenya). The Smithsonian, with Andrew Carnegie’s help, funded and provided naturalists to help collect, catalogue and preserve specimens gathered by the ex-president’s party. The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery is showing four photographs of scenes from the expedition, along with one of Roosevelt’s rifles, in its permanent exhibition “America’s Presidents.” They are installed near a painting of Roosevelt in the space that recognizes his time in office. The photographs show Roosevelt standing by a felled rhinoceros; his son Kermit and Roosevelt atop a felled African buffalo; Roosevelt standing by a felled elephant; and the expedition party crossing the Loleti Plains, Sotik, June 27, 1909. This installation is one of a series on Kenya at the Smithsonian, including the 2014 Smithsonian Folklife Festival’s program Kenya: Mambo Poa.

Image: Kermit and Theodore on a Buffalo (detail), Smithsonian Institution Archives


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