First Floor Exhibition Area and Lear Center Exhibition Area


A Tribute to Our Mascot: Selections from the McLean Camel Collection
May 20-August 20, 2013


This exhibition highlights the gift of the family of Anne B. McLean of an extraordinary collection of camels. McLean’s interest in camels was sparked during a visit to Kabul, Afghanistan with her brother Glen Bowersox in 1973.  Bowersox was a representative of the Asia Foundation, a non-profit international development organization working to improve lives across Asia.

During her brief stay in Afghanistan, McLean became interested in many aspects of Afghan culture: Afghan hounds; Bushkazi, the national sport of Afghanistan; and particularly, the rough and rugged Afghan camels.  McLean loved the camels of Afghanistan and purchased several camel statues and souvenirs to bring back home, thus began her camel collection.  Upon her return to the states, McLean continued collecting camels or all sorts.  Over the course of the thirty-nine years after she visited Afghanistan, Anne built a camel collection with hundreds of camel and came-related items: stuffed camels of the soft an cuddly variety, carved wooden camels, leather camels, metal camels (some realistic and some abstract), porcelain and ceramic camels, camel jewelry, ornaments, candles, cookie-cutters, stickers, napkins as well as textiles featuring camels. 

As one of two colleges in the country honoring the camel, Connecticut College is very devoted to our mascot, so it is with great pride that we present this display of beautiful, silly, and downright curious camels.