John Ewers

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John Canfield Ewers stands in front of a diorama in the National Museum of Natural History portraying an Eskimo hunting scene, with a man with a spear in his hand, four huskies peering down on a seal, and an Eskimo woman watching.


  • Ewers, John Canfield
  • Museum of Natural History (U.S.)
  • National Museum of Natural History (U.S.)
  • National Museum of American History (U.S.) (NMAH)
  • National Museum of Natural History (U.S.) Dept. of Anthropology
  • United States National Museum


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


  • Kjell Bloch Sandved of the Office of Exhibits, National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), at the commission of Porter Kier, then Director, NMNH, prepared these photographic materials to document personnel and activities of NMNH in 1975.
  • Dr. John C. Ewers (1909-1997) was one of the nation's foremost scholars in the ethnology of the Plains Indians and the history of the West. He began his career in 1935 as a field curator for the National Park Service, developing exhibits for park sites. From 1941 to 1944, he was Curator of the Museum of the Plains Indian, Bureau of Indian Affairs. In 1945, Ewers was appointed Associate Curator of the Division of Ethnology in the Department of Anthropology of the United States National Museum and developed the Museum's Exhibits Modernization Program. Ewers served as Planning Officer for the development of the National Museum of History and Technology (NMHT), now known as the National Museum of American History, from 1956 to 1959, as Assistant Director from 1959 to 1964, and as Director from 1964 to 1965. Following his post as museum director, Ewers returned to active research as Senior Ethnologist in the Department of Anthropology at the National Museum of Natural History until his retirement in 1978. In 1979, he was appointed Ethnologist Emeritus.

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95-013, Box 1, Folder: 1: A-Kier

Contact information

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



Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Hunting
  • Clothing and dress
  • Anthropology
  • Ethnology
  • Employees
  • Museums
  • Artifacts
  • Animals
  • Historians
  • Dogs
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Personnel management
  • Ethnologists
  • Exhibitions
  • Seals (Animals)
  • Anthropologists
  • Arctic peoples
  • Dioramas
  • Eskimos
  • Indians of North America
  • Museum curators
  • Museum directors
  • Smithsonian Institution--Employees


  • Northwest Territories
  • Washington (D.C.)


  • Person, candid
  • Exhibit
  • Slide

ID Number


Physical description

Number of Images: 1; Color: Color ; Size: 1"w X 1 3.7"h ; Type of Image: Person, candid; Exhibit Medium: Slide

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