A look at the objects Lewis and Clark received from the Native American Indians they encountered and contrasts that with their more systematic collection of natural history specimens.
"I am in fact preparing a kind of Indian hall."
--Thomas Jefferson to Meriwether Lewis
In an ongoing effort to place Monticello within the larger universe, Jefferson established a museum in his double-story Entrance Hall, complete with maps of the world, European paintings and sculptures, and examples of items from the New World. With the arrival of several boxes and barrels sent back by Lewis and Clark from their journey, Jefferson greatly expanded the representation of North America in this museum with a dramatic display of Native American objects and animal skins, horns, and bones. Unfortunately, the fate of Jefferson's collection of Native American objects after his death remains a mystery. For the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial, Monticello turned this mystery into an opportunity to work with contemporary Native American artists who are preserving traditional art forms. The recreated Indian Hall demonstrates that the Native American art forms encountered by Lewis and Clark and appreciated by Jefferson are still alive today.
Follow the shipment of objects and natural specimens that Lewis shipped to Jefferson in April 1805, just before setting out from Ft. Mandan.
At look at how Jefferson sought to demonstrate in the entrance Hall at Monticello how the culture and geography of North America related to the rest of the world.
Follow the trail of the lost collection that Jefferson displayed at Monticello until his death.
A gallery of recreated Native American artifacts now on display at Monticello.