Images of United States National Museum anthropological exhibits at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, also called the St. Louis World's Fair. Images of the Department of Anthropology's exhibits include those of photographs and models of Mayan and Mesoamerican temples; antiquities from Mexico, Mesoamerica, and the West Indies; and American Indian, Mexican, and Mesoamerican sculptures, ceramics, tools, textiles, masks, and baskets. Photographs also document the Bureau of American Ethnology's exhibits, including "symbolic art," drawings and paintings on artifacts from tribes of the New Southwest, Plains, and Northwest Coast. The collection also includes a photograph of carved designs on a structure at Xochicales, possibly used in the exhibition or as part of its design.
The National Museum's Department of Anthropology and the Bureau of American Ethnology exhibits at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition were highly integrated, and both were designed by then chief of the Bureau of American Ethnology and former head curator of the Department of Anthropology, William Henry Holmes. The exhibits were intended to illustrate "the higher culture of the native American peoples as shown in their arts and industries." The exhibit featured examples of architecture, sculpture, ceramics, metal work, water craft, musical instruments, pipes, and ceremonial objects and included models of Aztec ruins based on plans by De Lancey W. Gill.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 82-31
Location of Other Archival Materials:
Papers, photographs, and records relating to exhibitions at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition can be found in the National Anthropological Archives in MS 4689, MS 7571, MS 7208, Photo Lot 24, and Bureau of American Ethnology Letters Received 1888-1906.
The Smithsonian Institution Archives holds Exposition Records of the Smithsonian Institution and the United States National Museum, 1867-1940 (SIA RU000070) as well as photographs of the exhibits.
Additional photographs of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition can be found in the National Anthropological Archives in Photo Lot 107, Photo Lot 89-8, and Photo Lot 90-1.
The collection is open for research.
Access to the collection requires an appointment.