National Zoo: Springweiler Sculpture – Washington DC

Project type: Art Works, Sculptures
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Erwin Springweiler’s bronze statue, “Great Anteater,” was mounted at the National Zoo in 1938.  It stands in front of the Small Mammal House.

Springweiler was able to work from a live anteater at the zoo and from skeletons and furs at the American Museum of Natural History.  The statue is six feet long and three feet high. It was funded by the Treasury Section of Fine Arts.

The anteater statue was unveiled at the zoo on March 25, 1938, with a formal presentation to Dr. William M. Mann, director of the Zoo, and a speech by T. Edward Rowan, superintendent of painting and sculpture at the Section of Fine Arts .

In the months preceding its unveiling at the Zoo, Springweiler’s anteater sculpture won the $300 Speyer Memorial Prize at a National Academy exhibit in New York City.

Another casting was placed at the Brookgreen Zoo in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in 1949.

Source notes

Originally posted in the New Deal Art Registry

“Statue to be Given.” The Evening Star, March 24, 1938, p. A-2.

“Two Baby ‘Chimps’ Trumps Off New Drawing Cards at Zoo.” The Washington Post, March 26, 1938, p. X13.

Salmon, Robin R. Sculpture of Brookgreen Gardens. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2009. P. 36.

Project originally submitted by Kent Boese on July 22, 2013.
Additional contributions by Richard A Walker.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

3001 Connecticut Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20008

Coordinates: 38.9319, -77.0497

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