Past Exhibitions


Woven in Oaxaca: The Francis Bristol Collection

July 1, 2008 – Sept. 28, 2008

For over 40 years independent scholar and collector Frances Bristol traveled Oaxaca documenting and preserving the region’s textile traditions.  This exhibit introduces this remarkable woman and her life’s work.

Making an Impact: Halvor Skavlem’s Experimental Archaeology

January 22-May 2008

Developed by Rich Kasper’07 and other Beloit College museum studies students, this exhibit spotlights the self-taught Wisconsin experimental archaeologist Halvor Skavlem (1846-1939). Skavlem’s rediscovery of the craft of stone tool making helped archaeologists, collectors, and the public understand how ancient people made chipped- and ground-stone implements. Thanks to Logan Museum assistant curator Alonzo Pond (1894-1986), Skavlem’s collection of replicas and original pieces was saved and his tool-making techniques preserved for posterity.

Bound to the Sea: Ritual, Hunting, and Society on the Northwest Coast

January 22-May 2008

Developed by Shannon Goshen’07 and other Beloit college anthropology and museum studies students, this exhibit shows how Native people used watercraft to procure marine mammals. Northwest Coast groups used dugout canoes to help them obtain whales, seals, and other animals from the Pacific Ocean for nearly 5,000 years. Dugout canoes enhanced food procurement, ritual, trade, and communication systems. Although the canoe may seem relatively simple, the social, political, and economic aspects of sea-mammal hunting are extremely complex. The nobles or heads of clan households controlled the ownership, practice, and activities associated with canoes, such as harvests and feasts, and the distribution of resources obtained by canoe. Watercraft technology helped stimulate new levels of sociopolitical complexity starting around 2,500 years ago. The Logan Museum’s Northwest Coast collections illustrate this complex hunting practice and show its influence on the economy, social structure, social interaction, and art of Native Northwest Coast maritime societies.

The Columbian Exposition and Beloit

August 21-December 16, 2007

Explore connections between Beloit College and the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

Ceramics and Archaeology

July 10 – August 12, 2007

Featuring anthropology student research on ceramics in the collections of the Logan Museum of Anthropology and Wright Museum of Art.

Discovering Ancient Peru: Why Textiles Matter

March 30 – July 1, 2007

Ancient societies in Peru valued textiles highly and developed great skill in textile design and manufacture. Today, scientific analyses—including fiber identification, thread count, dye analysis, and weave structure—supply new insights into ancient textiles. Studying structure and design together can yield deeper insights than focusing on design motifs alone. This exhibition shows how new studies add to our understanding of Peruvian textiles and cultures. In addition to rarely-seen textiles, the exhibition includes decorated pottery vessels, allowing visitors to compare motifs seen on both ceramics and textiles.

The Batak: Tradition and Transition in Northern Sumatra

June 6 – September 17, 2006

This exhibit explores the Batak people of Sumatra, Indonesia and features a colorful array of textiles, masks, and religious objects from the Logan Museum of Anthropology’s permanent collection. The exhibit was guest curated by George Ulrich, Curator Emeritus of African and Oceanic Ethnology at the Milwaukee Public Museum. This will be the Logan Museum’s last temporary exhibit in the Shaw Gallery for two years. The gallery will be closed while the Logan implements a collections rehousing project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, to be completed in 2008.

At Right: Detail, Ikat textile, Sumba, Indonesia (LMA 6566.4)

Beads Communicate!

December 3 – May 21, 2006

This exhibit explores the world of beads from their earliest forms to the present. Artifacts presented from all over the world show that, more than just decoration, beads are a visually powerful communication system. Beads have been important cultural markers in every society since the Ice Age. When beads are strung or sewn together, their materials, colors, and arrangements communicate important information on ethnicity, gender, age, marriage status, religion, trade, wealth, class, politics, and history.

At Right: Tungus Boots, upper Tunguska, Yeniesei River area, Siberia from the William B. Webster’12 Collection

Architecture and Artifacts at Teotihuacán

January 27-May 21

The rich cultural heritage of ancient Mexico is the focus of “Architecture and Artifacts at Teotihuacán.” The exhibit features examples of pottery vessels, figurines, and other artifacts from the Logan Museum’s collection along with photographs of Teotihuacán, one of the largest archaeological sites in Mesoamerica. Beloit College sophomores Jennifer Laube and Ellen Sieg researched the museum’s holdings and then toured and photographed the ruins of Teotihuacán, paying particular attention to decorative elements on the structures. Together, Laube and Sieg’s photographs and Logan Museum objects illustrate distinctive styles in the site’s art and architecture.

Alive With Beauty and Strength: Native American Raptor Feather Headdresses

January 17 – May 21

One of the most recognizable symbols of Native American identity, the feather headdress was important in religious ceremonies and war. In this exhibit visitors can examine headdresses from seven different Native American tribes. See the structure that allows the feathers to move in unison in the wind to mimic the slow, strong beat of the wings of the sacred eagle, thus transferring their sacred power to the wearer. See also how non-Native society has appropriated Indian headdresses.

International Students – International Collections

November 8 – December 23, 2005

The Logan Museum of Anthropology celebrates International Education Week with a special exhibit profiling ancient archaeological and historic artifacts from a number of Beloit College international student countries of origin. The Museum holds significant collections from 112 nations around the world.

Among the artifacts included are an elaborate ceremonial axe from India and a bone knife sheath from Japan. These are two of the countries that have the greatest numbers of international students attending the college. Many of the other sixteen non-USA home countries ­ from the Americas and Africa to Asia ­ also are represented in this exhibit.

At Right: Detail, Chinese silk embroidered jacket. LMA 1991.3.1

Turtle Culture

August 12 – November 30, 2005

Turtles that inhabit all continents in the world other than Antarctica have inspired the Logan Museum of Anthropology’s exhibit, “Turtle Culture.” The Museum’s encyclopedic collections, with additions from the Wright Museum of Art and a private collection, hold several artifacts portraying turtle imagery. Among the many cultures that hold the turtle in high regard and represented in the exhibit are peoples from Australia, Papua New Guinea, Japan, China, Tanzania, and Venezuela as well as the United States.

Many cultures around the world use turtles for important practical, ceremonial, and aesthetic purposes. Visitors can compare how people at different times and places perceive, portray, and use turtles—an ancient and now endangered family of reptiles—in a wide variety of ways.

At Right: Iroquois snapping turtle shell rattle used in False Face Society curing rituals.

Milestones: Logan Museum Anniversaries

July 6 – October 9, 2005

2005 marks several important milestones in the history of the Logan Museum of Anthropology (LMA). This exhibit shows the growth and some of the major accomplishments of the Logan Museum over the past century and more. The origins and early development of LMA collections, the evolution of exhibit styles, and the importance of the anniversaries we mark this year are highlighted with many associated artifacts, natural history specimens, and photographs.

The Logan Museum has much to celebrate in 2005:

  • 100 years in Memorial Hall
  • 75 years since the final Logan-Saharan Expedition in North Africa
  • 50 years since the acquisition of the fabulous Albert Green Heath Collection
  • 10 years since the completion of the $4 million facility upgrade

At Right: The Logan Museum of Anthropology’s new logo is inspired by this paired-turtles Mimbres bowl excavated 75 years ago at the Mattocks Ruin, New Mexico, by curator Paul H. Nesbitt.

Native American Sport – Physical and Ceremonial

August 31 – October 9

Far from being simple “idle amusements,” in most traditional Native American societies, sports and games were rarely played simply for fun. These activities were not merely recreational, but held important social and religious value. Preparations included spiritual as well as physical exercises, and outcomes influenced, or were influenced by, the supernatural powers.

This exhibit presents five Native American sports including lacrosse, shinny, snow gliders, snow snakes, and “chunkey” along with illustrations and information on their ceremonial and social importance to Native societies.

At Right: Quechan (Yuma Apache) shinny stick & ball

Stars & Eagles: The American Flag in Native American Art

May 4 – July 31, 2005

This exhibit was curated by the students in the MUST 370 Exhibit Design & Development class. It examines the history and variety of meanings associated with the use of the American flag image and other patriotic symbols in the decoration of Native American artifacts.

At Right: Brilliantly colored Sioux porcupine quillwork wristlet makes use of eagle symbolism.

“Melanesian Images Revisited”

This exhibition spotlights 20th-century art from Papua New Guinea, an island nation located between Australia and Indonesia. James Tobin collected the material between 1984 and 1990, and Virginia Tobin donated it to the Logan Museum in 1995. The exhibit helps visitors learn about the history and geography of Papua New Guinea and about the wide cultural diversity among its peoples. The exhibit also highlights the wide variety of art forms represented in this unique collection. A related reception ( 4:30-5:30 p.m.) and program (5:30-6:30 p.m.) scheduled for February 11, 2005 will provide participants an opportunity to handle objects from Papua New Guinea and learn more about the regions represented in the exhibit. George Ulrich, Curator of African and Pacific Ethnology at the Milwaukee Public Museum, will present an informal survey of Papua New Guinea art during the event.

At Right: Mount Hagen Sing Sing, Papua New Guinea Highland by James D. Tobin, 1988.

Both Binding & Separating: Sashes as Symbols of Identity

Bright colors in the form of braided sashes are interwoven through many Native American and other cultures in the New World. This exhibit examines several Native American flat braided sashes. These textiles have become important symbols of national identity for at least three groups on the continent: French Canadians, Native Americans, and the mixed descent Métis. Braided sashes thus have become a rare example of a true North American “intercultural object”—a type of artifact holding deep meaning for more than one cultural group.

At Right: Osage beaded arrow sash, Oklahoma

Floating on the Surface of the Softest Snow: Native American Snowshoes

Deep snows made snowshoe technology essential for winter travel and success in hunting. This exhibit examines some of the many types of snowshoes made by Native North Americans to fit the nature of the terrain, qualities of snow, time of the year, intended use, as well as the size and sex of the user. Making snowshoes was generally a cooperative task among men who carved the wooden frames and women who laced the rawhide webbing. Lacing snowshoe webbing requires great manual dexterity and practical knowledge. These essential artifacts for winter survival were often finely made with great attention to details. Snowshoe makers decorated them by painting symbols on the webbing, lacing the webbing to make geometric patterns, or adding colored cloth or tufts of yarn to the frames.

John Warner Norton ‘Rise of Man’ Murals

“The History of Mankind” Then & Now

Twelve impressive works painted by Chicago muralist John W. Norton grace the upper walls of the Logan Museum of Anthropology’s Christine L. and Robert G. Shaw Gallery. “The History of Mankind” murals were commissioned by Chicago philanthropist and Beloit College Trustee Frank Logan and his wife Josephine in 1923 to illustrate the development of human culture and the amazing breadth of the Logan Museum collections. This exhibit examines how the ideas behind these images have themselves evolved in the 80 years since they were painted. They were widely used and became popular among the general public in the mid-1920s during the controversy surrounding the Scopes “Monkey Trial.”

At Right: “The Chellean”, by John W. Norton, 1923-1924

“Aboriginal Australia”

The Logan Museum of Anthropology presents “Aboriginal Australia” with several unique and fascinating artifacts representing the many cultures native to the world’s largest island. Australian Aborigine archaeological materials, weapons, fiber arts, religious items, and contemporary art provide scope for comparison with the many other world cultures currently on display. This exhibit runs through September 2004.

At Right: Bark painting such as this one currently on display usually depict origin myths from the era when the Aborigines believe the world and its inhabitants were created, the Dream Time.

“New Acquisitions, 2001-2004”

Artifacts recently acquired by the Logan Museum of Anthropology are on exhibit in the Christine L. and Robert G. Shaw Gallery through September 2004.

Many fascinating artifacts–from ancient archaeological material to modern Native American tourist art–continue to be added to the Logan Museum’s collections of more than 200,000 objects. Museum collections allow visitors and researchers to compare and contrast artifacts, helping people to study specific cultures as well as cross-cultural connections and differences.

See how the world-wide scope of the Museum’s collections and teaching resources continue to be strengthened with new additions from as far afield as Papua New Guinea, Africa, Peru, Haiti, Mexico, and as close to home as Rock County, Wisconsin.

At Right: Mask collected by a missionary from an African convert.

Important Points: Awls in Native American Material Culture

The importance of awls in the Native American tool kit is the focus of the newest temporary exhibit at the Logan Museum of Anthropology. As shown by the artifacts on display–among them a finely quilled birch bark basket–both male and female craftsmen continue the ancient tradition of using this important tool with high degrees of skill.

As he was being guided overland to the shores of the Arctic Ocean by Athapaskan-speaking Chipewyan in May 1771, Hudson’s Bay Company servant Samuel Hearne admired their skill with a limited tool kit that included “. . . an awl, in the use of which they are so dextrous, that every thing they make is executed with a neatness not to be excelled by the most expert mechanic, assisted with every tool he could wish.” At Right: Common form of bone splinter awl from the Starkweather Ruin Site, Upper Gila Reserve, NM (LMA 22462)

Sealed with Smoke: Pipes and Cultural Interaction in Eastern North America

The Logan Museum of Anthropology’s newest exhibit, “Sealed With Smoke: Pipes and Cultural Interaction in Eastern North America,” examines the critical role of the aboriginal tobacco, pipe, and smoking complex in structuring and facilitating relations among Natives and newcomers.

The use of tobacco pipes was the most powerful and consistent means of structuring early relations among Native American and European groups. This exhibit presents many fine examples of Native American pipes from the Great Lakes and Upper Mississippi Valley region as evidence of the ritual, diplomatic, trade, and social significance of tobacco pipes and smoking. The ethnobotany of tobacco, manufacturing techniques, and an impressive variety of Native American pipe forms are presented.

Special programs related to the exhibit will be presented, supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Humanities Council — check the Logan Museum calendar for details.

Dazzling Threads: Saltillo Sarapes and their Navajo Descendants

The exhibit was student curated by Katie Ediger, an Anthropology major with minors in Museum Studies and Latin American Studies. The exhibit is the culmination of her research on the Logan Museum’s stunning Saltillo sarape collection. Saltillo sarapes are finely woven and colorful wearing blankets from Northern Mexico made during the mid 1800s. The exhibit explores the influence Saltillo sarapes had on Navajo textile design in the American Southwest. Elements of the Saltillo sarape were adopted by the Navajos and became known as the “eye dazzler” style. This exhibit runs through Sunday 22 February.

These textiles truly are dazzling and not to be missed!

Inuit Kayaks!

Students in the Beloit College Upward Bound program taking the Native American Culture class offered by the Logan Museum have mounted an exhibit titled “Inuit Kayaks!”. The display includes a full size example of a seal skin covered kayak, several models, the tools used to construct these unique boats, weapons that would be used from a kayak, and artistic representations of kayaks in ivory figurines. The exhibit is on display in the Christine L. and Robert G. Shaw Gallery at the Logan Museum until the end of August.

See the World in Beloit: Highlights from the Logan Museum Collections

For 110 years, the Logan Museum of Anthropology at Beloit College has been collecting objects from a wide variety of cultures around the world. Every inhabited portion of the globe is represented in the Logan’s collections. At a time when it can be difficult to travel overseas, the Museum presents an exhibit that helps us glimpse other cultures of the world without a long-distance trek.

Titled See the World in Beloit: Highlights from the Logan Museum Collections, this exhibit provides a small sample of the beautiful and meaningful artifacts that visitors can use to learn about and appreciate the diversity of peoples around the world. Several categories of artifacts such as ceremonial items, clothing and textiles, as well as containers of leather, pottery, and basketry represent cultures from as far away as Melanesia, North Africa, and Peru. Items from several Native American cultures are also on display.

Visitors will see that many world cultures of the past and present can be studied and enjoyed right here in Beloit at the Logan Museum of Anthropology. World travelers and those who normally stay close to home are invited to See the World in Beloit. This exhibit will run from June 3 through October 12. The Logan Museum is open to the public at no charge (donation accepted) Tuesdays through Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Innovations in Ivory and Wool

Feb. 4th – May 18th, 2003

Beloit College’s Logan Museum of Anthropology will present a collection of contemporary Native American textile and ivory art, opening Tuesday, Feb. 4. The exhibit, Innovations in Ivory and Wool, will showcase the Native Alaskan and Navajo collections of Anne and Arch Gould, and will run through Sunday, May 18.

In 2001, Beloit native Anne H. Gould donated 84 Navajo textiles to the Logan Museum of Anthropology. The collection is comprised of many beautiful examples of contemporary Navajo pictorial and tapestry-quality textiles. More recently, the museum acquired Anne’s and her late husband’s collection of more than 100 Native Alaskan ivories.

Innovations in Ivory and Wool will present a sample of the Navajo textiles and Native Alaskan ivories, along with other works of art donated by Ms. Gould. The exhibit will examine the historical context of collecting Native American art, how economic demands have influenced the production of Native Alaskan ivories and Navajo textiles, and highlight recent innovations and contemporary Native artists represented in the Gould collections.

Anne and Arch Gould developed a deep appreciation for Native American art shortly after Arch’s retirement from medical practice in 1968. From the late 1960s to the early 80s, the Goulds conducted voluntary medical work in Alaska, Arizona, Montana, Honduras, and Kenya. While working with communities in Alaska and Arizona, the Goulds became familiar with and developed a passion for Native Alaskan ivory carvings and Navajo textiles. Beginning in 1968, they spent seven summers volunteering in Nome, Alaska. They also spent many years working on a Navajo reservation where they were in constant association with weavers and post traders.

lifeafterlife: Ceramics of Ancient Peru

October 10, 2002 – January 19, 2003

The exhibit features Peruvian Precolumbian ceramic artifacts from Moche, Nasca, and Recuay cultures, with additional pieces from earlier groups. The exhibit demonstrates the affinity of the makers with natural and mythological themes and explores a variety of ceramic construction techniques.

Archaeology of the Gobi: The Beloit Connections!

January 26 – May 17, 2002

Roy Chapman Andrews (Beloit College class of ’06) directed the American Museum of Natural History’s Central Asiatic Expeditions between 1922 and 1930. This interdisciplinary project involved scientists from several fields including archaeology. Alonzo Pond (’18) served as the project archaeologist in 1928, discovering numerous sites of ancient human occupation in inner Mongolia (part of China). This exhibit includes artifacts from Andrews’ and Pond’s work and shows how the Central Asiatic Expeditions contributed to our understanding of ancient cultures of the Gobi.

Another America

October 5 – December 16, 2001

Another America is an exhibit of Native-made maps of North America, spanning a period of over 300 years from the 17th century to the present. Mark Warhus, Milwaukee historian and geographer, developed this exhibit in the mid-1990s. The images that form Another America are facsimiles of unique manuscript maps housed at places such as the U.S. National Archives and the British Library. The maps open a window on the North American landscape as it was perceived and experienced by the continent’s indigenous people. The maps document the extensive trade, social, and political networks in which American Indians lived and the historic events, cultural traditions, and spiritual beliefs that gave meaning to the landscape.

The Logan Museum augments Another America with artifacts that are associated with many of the cultures represented by the Native maps. The artifacts help illustrate some of the exhibit themes such as trade and contact, colonization, and cultural persistence. Public programs associated with the exhibit will be announced during the fall.

Another America arrives at the Logan courtesy of the American Geographical Society Collection of the Golda Meir Library, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The exhibit was originally supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography at the Newberry Library, Chicago.

Recent Acquisitions of the Logan Museum of Anthropology

October 9 – December 16, 2001

Sneak preview of Native American ethnographic and archaeological artifacts recently acquired by the Logan Museum of Anthropology. The objects on display will be part of a joint Wright Museum of Art and Logan Museum exhibition scheduled for Spring 2002, which will highlight recent acquisitions at both Museums. The sneak preview exhibition will feature Navajo textiles from the Anne H. Gould Collection, stone tools from the Robert Null Collection found at ancient camp sites in the Beloit vicinity, Plains Indian ethnographic material from the Esther Sprague Collection, and Native American baskets from Adrienne Nielsen, Dr. Gerald and Mrs. Frankie Greene, and Richard Brooks Collections. The sneak preview exhibit will be displayed in the first floor foyer of the Logan Museum.

Pow Wow!

January 30 – May 13, 2001

Celebrate Native America through its beautiful dance regalia. Clothing, dance accessories and musical instruments from the Logan Museum of Anthropology will highlight the artifacts and activities of the Native American Pow Wow through exhibition and multimedia display.



1 Comment

  1. BATAK CRAFT AND TEXTILE FOR PUBLIC IN MUSEUM « my radical judgement by roysianipar said,

    […] READ MORE FULL STORY6566.4) roysianipar @ 6:37 am [filed under Uncategorized […]

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