William Henry Holmes

ID: SIA2008-3015 or MAH-18645

Creator: Unknown

Form/Genre: Photographic print

Date: 1920

Citation: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 13, Folder: 35

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William Henry Holmes, 1846-1933, was an artist, geologist, and anthropologist. A "Renaissance man" of many talents, Holmes was hired by the Smithsonian as an illustrator in 1871, traveling out west on the famed Yellowstone expeditions. Fascinated by the Native American culture he observed out West, in 1889 he joined the staff of the Bureau of American Ethnology, and directed it from 1902 to 1909. Holmes was also curator of anthropology for the Smithsonian (1897-1932), but never lost his interest in art. He also served as curator and director of the emerging National Gallery of Art (1906-1932), now the Smithsonian American Art Museum. He was known for his landscape paintings of the Washington, D.C., area. This photograph shows Holmes seated, holding a book title "Wiliam Henry Holmes."


  • Holmes, William Henry 1846-1933
  • National Gallery of Art of the Smithsonian
  • National Museum of American Art (U.S.)
  • Smithsonian Institution Bureau of American Ethnology
  • National Museum of Natural History (U.S.) Dept. of Anthropology
  • United States National Museum


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


Seated portrait, head to knees. Faces front, head tilted slightly right, large book on left knee. Original Neg. # MAH-18645

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 13, Folder: 35

Contact information

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



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Washington (D.C.)


  • Photographic print
  • Portraits

ID Number

SIA2008-3015 or MAH-18645

Physical description

Color: Black and White; Size: 7w x 9h; Type of Image: Portrait; Medium: Photographic print

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