Prehistoric Archaeology Exhibit, Upper Main Hall, Smithsonian Institution Building

ID: 2962 or MNH-2962

Creator: Unknown (Thomas W. Smillie?)

Form/Genre: Photographic print

Date: c. 1879

Citation: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 41, Folder: 4

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Prehistoric Archaeology exhibit in Upper Main Hall (above Great Hall) of the Smithsonian Institution Building showing ethnological and archeological specimens, looking west c. 1879-1903. An immense painted Tsimshian housefront, acquired from the Northwest Coastal Indians for display at the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition in 1876, is visible on the west wall at the back of the room. Numerous busts populate the tops of exhibit cases. Spears and bows and arrows from various tribes are decoratively grouped in patterns on the walls.


  • Smithsonian Institution Building (Washington, D.C.)
  • United States National Museum
  • National Collections
  • Centennial Exhibition (1876 : Philadelphia, Pa.)


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


Incorrectly labeled 1903 on back of photo because photo was used in USNM Report 1903; Published in "The Castle: An Illustrated History of the Smithsonian Building" by Cynthia R. Field, Richard E. Stamm, and Heather P. Ewing, p. 84.

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 41, Folder: 4

Contact information

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


c. 1879

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Historians
  • Busts
  • Anthropology
  • Ethnology
  • Exhibitions
  • Museums
  • Prehistoric Archaeology
  • Tsimshian Housefront
  • Museum exhibits
  • Indians of North America
  • Northwest Coast Indians


  • Photographic print
  • Exhibit

ID Number

2962 or MNH-2962

Physical description

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

Full Record

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