What Statue Is Outside the Museum of Natural History?

The Museum of Natural History in New York City is one of the most iconic museums in the world. It is home to an impressive collection of natural history exhibits, including dinosaur fossils, rare gems, and taxidermy animals.

But have you ever stopped to wonder about the statue that stands outside the museum’s entrance? Let’s take a closer look.

The Statue

The statue that stands outside the Museum of Natural History is called “Roosevelt Equestrian Statue.” It was designed by James Earle Fraser and was dedicated on October 27, 1940. The statue features former President Theodore Roosevelt on horseback, accompanied by a Native American man and an African man walking beside him.

The Design

Fraser designed the statue to represent Roosevelt’s love for nature and his commitment to conservation efforts during his presidency. The former president is depicted wearing a cowboy hat and holding a scroll in his hand. The Native American man walking beside him represents the natural world and its preservation, while the African man represents humanity’s journey forward.


The symbolism behind each character in the statue is significant. Roosevelt was known for his love of hunting and exploration, but he also had a deep respect for nature and wildlife conservation.

The Native American man represents Roosevelt’s fascination with Native American culture and their connection to nature. The African man represents Roosevelt’s belief in human progress and equality for all people.


Despite its intended symbolism, there has been some controversy surrounding the statue over the years. Some have criticized its depiction of Native Americans and Africans as subservient to Roosevelt, perpetuating racist stereotypes. Others argue that it glorifies imperialism and colonialism.


Regardless of your interpretation of its symbolism or perceived flaws, “Roosevelt Equestrian Statue” remains an iconic piece of art that welcomes visitors to the Museum of Natural History. Its design and meaning are open to interpretation, but it undoubtedly represents the museum’s commitment to exploring and preserving the natural world.