John Wesley Powell

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Major John Wesley Powell (1834-1902), seated, middle aged, front view with his head turned slightly to his right. Geologist and western explorer, Powell led an expedition to the Grand Canyon in the 1870's. When Congress created the Bureau of Ethnology in 1879, Powell was named its first director (1879-1902), a post he held until his death. Placed under the auspices of the Smithsonian Institution, the bureau, whose name was changed to the Bureau of American Ethnology, was to be the repository of the "archives, records, and material relating to the Indians of North America, collected by the geographical and geological survey of the Rocky Mountains".


  • Powell, John Wesley 1834-1902
  • Smithsonian Institution Bureau of American Ethnology


Historic Images of the Smithsonian

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7177, Box 9, Folder: 23 and Record Unit 95, Box 18, Folder: 57

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Discovery and exploration
  • Geology
  • Anthropology




  • Photographic print
  • Person, candid

ID Number

58254 or MAH-58254

Physical description

Color: Black and White; Size: 8w x 10h; Type of Image: Person, candid; Medium: Photographic print

Full Record

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