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Past Exhibitions


Archaeology of Climate Change


Students in ANTH 375, The Bioarchaelogy of Climate Change, are pleased to invite you to view their new series of exhibits at the Logan Museum! Dunes and droughts, water and witches, ice and ivory: come learn about how cultures around the world adapted to climate change. 


May - August 2018 - Shaw Gallery, 2nd Floor, Logan Museum 



Drew Agnew Spring 2018


May - August 2018 - Shaw Gallery, 2nd Floor, Logan Museum 


Fusion and Division

This student-curated exhibit explored objects that testify to how governments and societies have navigated difference and similarity across cultures and historical moments.

November 2017 through May 2018 ~ 1st Floor, Logan Museum


Case Studies 2017































Case Studies 2017 ~ This showcase of eight student-curated exhibits by fifteen students took museum visitors from ancient Peru, across the Mediterranean Sea, and into the forests of Papua New Guinea with four other stops along the way.

November 2017 through May 2018 ~ Shaw Gallery, 2nd Floor, Logan Museum


Science Art Stereotype - The Norton Murals













Circling the walls of the museum's second floor Shaw Gallery is the History of Mankind mural series. The Logan Museum installed the paintings in 1925 to illustrate the “development of man” and to provide historical and cultural context for its collections. The murals reflect early 20th-century anthropological thinking about human evolution and indigenous cultures. This exhibit explores the history of the murals, how they came to the Logan, and what they reveal about anthropology in the early 20th century.

October through December, 2017 - Shaw Gallery, 2nd Floor, Logan Museum


Object Investigations 2017








Together, the Logan Museum of Anthropology and Wright Museum of Art curate over 400,000 objects. Have you ever wondered how these objects made their way to Beloit, how they were made, or their significance to the people who made them? These are just a few of the questions collections management students investigated as part of their object study research projects.

April through October, 2017 - Shaw Gallery, 2nd Floor, Logan Museum

Medium and Message

Communication relies on signs. A sign’s effect is dependent on the way you and the person you send it to interpret it. The values, traditions, and customs you share within a group of people make up your “cultural framework.” The receiver assesses the potential meanings of your sign against all of the known possibilities within your shared cultural framework. The context within which you send a sign vehicle becomes critical to someone interpreting its meaning correctly.

Medium and Message: How People Communicate shows some of the signs that people use to communicate specific messages within their cultural frameworks. As you examine them, consider the signs you use to communicate similar ideas.

April through October, 2017 - Shaw Gallery, 2nd Floor, Logan Museum

Ancient Looms, Modern Threads

ALMT Poster

Through textile displays, videos, and diagrams this exhibition investigates the present-day production and use of a traditional woman's dress-like garment called a huipil (pronounce wee-peal) from Oaxaca, Mexico. Showcasing huipiles from the Logan Museum's Frances Bristol Collection, the exhibition explores:

  • How do indigenous weavers in Oaxaca construction huipiles on backstrap looms?
  • How have these garments been adapted and preserved as expressions of cultural identity?
  • How have these textiles change over time include new materials, new designs, and new audiences? 

This exhibit was visible in the Logan Museum of Anthropology between January 16 - March 5, 2017.

Andean Identities

Andean Identites Title

By examining representations of racial-ethnic, gender, and class categories in the Andes over the last 500 years, Andean Identities looks at how individuals and groups (indigenous, mixed-race, and Afro-Peruvian) categorize themselves and others, and what inequalities result. European colonialism left a legacy of inequalities related to identity that persists, not only in the Andes, but also in North America. The exhibit concludes with comparison of cases of unequal citizenship. What do indigenous women’s movements in Peru have to do with Black Lives Matter in the US and Students for an Inclusive Campus at Beloit? Come see the exhibit to find out and make your own connections to your society and community.

November and December 2016 in the Shaw Gallery on the museum's second floor.

Being and Belonging: From the Ancient Andes to Beloit

Being here is not the same as belonging here. Moving into a new community means finding your place among the unfamiliar. This exhibit examines the everyday struggle to preserve one’s identity while fitting into a new social and cultural context. These objects come from a 500-year old mummy bundle from the Central Coast of Peru. This person’s grave goods tell a story of maintaining their ethnic identity while incorporating themselves (assimilating) into a new society.

November and December 2016 in the Shaw Gallery on the museum's second floor.

Object Investigations 2016

Object Investigations 2016 

Despite popular belief, museum records are not always accurate or complete. Multiple sources in addition to museum records were consulted by students while investigating the objects shown here. These included the Beloit College archives, library resources, and outside experts. Findings were compiled in research papers added to the museums' files. Object Investigations transforms the students' papers into interpretations highlighting their findings and revealing something of these object's unique stories.

Watermarks: Water and the Human Experience

Watermarks Logo 

Watermarks: Water and the Human Experience is a collection of art and artifacts depicting the ways communities use water in their daily lives. It represents how humans have used water as a means of transportation and adapted to the excess or absence of it. It even explores the many myths around the world about water and all the spiritual context water has.

Museum studies students in the Exhibition Design and Development class spent the semester creating the exhibit. Splitting up into curatorial teams, groups worked on individual cases, as well as on teams for registration, content development, and design. Visit the Shaw Galley, located on the second floor of the Logan Museum of Anthropology, to learn how people’s lives around the world shape and are shaped by water in Watermarks: Water and the Human Experience ran through spring and summer, 2016.

Indigenous Slaveries in the Americas

Hist150 Exhibit Logo 

The indigenous peoples of the western hemisphere practiced slavery for thousands of years before Christopher Columbus stepped on the shores of the West Indies in 1492. Throughout the Americas, native peoples captured enemies in war or forced their neighbors to send persons as tribute. Foreign captives were a near constant presence among many indigenous populations, awaiting ritual adoption or possibly the fate of human sacrifice. Men and women who were not adopted or killed were held as slaves, perpetual outsiders forced to labor in life and death for their masters.

As you follow the story of indigenous slaveries through this exhibit, consider the meaning that native peoples placed on the practice of holding men and women in bondage.

May and June 2016 on the museum's first floor.

Textile Arts Past & Present

Textile Arts 

Textile Arts span thousands of years and every culture in the world. The Logan Museum houses artifacts that represent traditions, rituals, and artistry, mostly hand made from materials found locally. Items include clothing, masks, satchels, blankets, and fragments of textiles.

Beloit College students in the Surface Design/Textile Arts class endeavored to design textiles and projects that are influenced by artifacts found in the Logan Museum. Our techniques are modernized, and yet each project is made by hand using techniques that are timeless.

In the Memorial Hall Foyer gallery on the museum's first floor during May and June, 2016.

The Dirt on Dirt

Dirt on Dirt 

Good old dirt might sustain us, but our ideas about dirt say a lot about who we are and how we think about others. We have strong ideas about slobs and neat freaks, people who work dirty jobs and people who have dirty minds. What exactly does it mean for something -- or someone -- to be dirty? When we spread gossip, why do we say we're "spreading dirt"?

Closed July 7, 2016 in the Shaw Gallery.

What Culture is She Wearing? Examining Appropriation at Beloit College through Photos

What Culture is She Wearing?

What harm is it to wear objects from a different culture? This is one of several questions being asked in an exhibit of photos from the 1930’s-1960’s of Beloit students wearing cultural objects from the Logan Museum of Anthropology’s collections. What Culture is She Wearing? Examining Appropriation at Beloit College through Photos examined how Beloit College students have changed the way they interact with objects and view other cultures. Curated by Franny Alfano'15.

Spring 2015 through Spring 2016

Health and Medicine in the Spanish-Speaking World

To develop their vocabulary, understanding of grammatical constructs, and writing skills within the context of health and medicine, student in Spanish 212 worked in groups to study health-related artifacts from Latin America. As a result, they deepened their knowledge of diseases and cultural practices found in the Spanish-speaking world.

- Professor Sylvia López

Collecting Today: Mata Ortiz Ceramics

Nicolette & Sammi buying

This 2015 exhibit tells the story of how Mata Ortiz ceramics came to be, why the Logan Museum of Anthropology decided to collect contemporary ceramics from a small village in northern Mexico, and how opportunities for student engagement followed.

Blue Veils Logo

Wild and desolate the desert is—at times no trace of vegetation, then scattering bits here & there. Tufts of coarse grass or dome like bunches of woody shrubs, then again vast stretches of sand or loose rock. Yet the shades of gray & brown are fascinating… The harmony of lines & curves in the dunes always gives a pleasing picture.

-- Alonzo Pond, October 17, 1925.

The first wheeled-vehicle expedition to cross the Sahara Desert from north to south included the Logan Museum’s assistant curator Alonzo Pond’18. Pond traveled with an international team of explorers and adventurers, collecting archaeological and ethnographic material from numerous places and people. Blue Veils, Black Mountains recounts Pond’s historic journey using his diary and memoir, photographs, and objects he collected along the way.

Fall 2015.

Altered States Title Image

Take a trip through the ways people around the world have used natural substances to change their moods, thought processes, behaviors, and levels of awareness. Explore -- safely -- the uses and cultural contexts of various psychoactive materials. This new exhibit uses Logan Museum collections to heighten visitors' understanding of the uses and histories of substances ranging from tobacco, alcohol, and chocolate to betel, kava, and peyote. Note: no actual psychoactive substances are included in the exhibit.

Spring and Summer, 2015.

Form, Function, Fusion 

Form, Function, Fusion

Intro to sculpture class students completed a casting project in which students juxtaposed artifacts from the Logan collection with contemporary objects. You can see many of these creations and the museum objects on which they are based throughout the Logan Museum.

Spring and Summer 2015

Object Investigations 

Together, the Logan Museum of Anthropology and Wright Museum of Art curate over 400,000 objects. Have you ever wondered how these objects made their way to Beloit, how they were made, or the significance to the people who made them? These are just a few of the questions collections management students investigated as part of their object study research project.

Spring through Summer, 2015. 

 None were Edible2 

Before the Object Investigations exhibit was installed, students in English 223: The Short of It, studied the objects chosen without knowing their origins or uses. Based on these observations, students wrote labels for the objects in a literary genre of their choice—fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. The only limitation was that the resulting work should be, at under 150 words, “label” sized. 

Spring through Summer, 2015.

Face It

Professor Christi Clancy’s WRIT100 class (themed “This is the End”) curated the exhibit, “Face it, You're Basic (or Nah): The End of the Individual in Modern Times.” The exhibit explored how social media, consumerism, and racism affect individuality.

Fall 2014 through Spring 2015

Grease Exhibit Poster 

It's easy to forget the men and women who worked here

few traces of them now

their labour has disappeared--replaced by happy tourists, art 


But the grease under the machines hold their stories.

-- from "Cockatoo Island,” by Sarah Attfield

This special exhibit by Professor Sonja Darlington's 2014 FYI, brought the distinct and yet heterogeneous aspects of work, working class, and working class life into clearer focus.

Fall 2014 through Spring 2015.

PP Exhibit Title

Fall 2014

RA 2014 Logo 

The Logan Museum of Anthropology collects significant ethnographic and archaeological artifacts. The objects exhibited here were among our most recent acquisitions and strengthen our holdings of materials from North America and Africa. The Museum is grateful to supporters who help us expand the scope and significance of our collections through their generosity.

Fall 2014

 Book and Bottle Title 

Objects speak volumes about the daily lives of people in the 19th century—but a handful of cow bones cannot describe the delight of sitting down to Sunday dinner. Historians can scour letters and diaries to read accounts of the joys of a good meal. Without the actual forks and spoons, dinner and dessert remain words on a page. By studying bones, bottles, and books alike, historical archaeologists can understand more about the past than they could glean from one type of evidence alone. Curated by Emily Starck’14.

May through October 2014.

Creation Stories Logo

 Museum Studies Exhibit Design and Development class project, Creation Stories: Craft, Culture, and Environment in Northeastern Native America. This exhibit featured Native American objects from the Northeastern United States and Canada and looks at how intersections of nature and culture affect Native American art and craft. Curated by students in the Exhibit Design and Development course.

December 2013 through July 2014.

 Object Investigations 2014

Together, the Logan Museum of Anthropology and Wright Museum of Art curate over 400,000 objects. Have you ever wondered how these objects made their way to Beloit, how they were made, or the significance to the people who made them? These are just a few of the questions collections management students investigated as part of their object study research project.

Spring through Summer 2014.

Ancient Whispers Title Graphic

Ancient people whisper their stories to us through the traces of the lives they left behind. Archaeologists collect and record these whispers in the forms of objects, human remains, and careful observations of the built environment. Excavations by Beloit College students at Starkweather Ruin, a Mogollon culture site, near Reserve, New Mexico in the 1930s illustrate how these traces are collected, and, taken together, what they can reveal about ancient lives.

Objects of Inspiration IV Logo

Objects of Inspiration IV was part of an ongoing series of exhibits based on the work of Professor Christi Clancy’s creative writing class. For the fourth straight semester, students selected an object from the nearly 3700 objects in the Logan’s digital collections, came to the museum lab to “meet” their objects, and composed poetry based on their thoughts, feelings, and experience with the objects. Museum staff then installed the objects and poems they inspired together in the museum.

Fall 2013 through Spring 2014.

Indus Valley Logo 

The Indus civilization included some of the world’s earliest cities, and its writing system is one of the last remaining undeciphered scripts. Students in Professor Rama Viswanathan’s FYI (First Year Initiative) course researched this complex society and did innovate work such as 3-D scanning of the Logan Museum's seal impressions. The students’ posters and the seal impressions were on exhibit in the Foyer of Memorial Hall through February '14.

Wings of the Worlds 

The act of flying, and the animals that have the ability to fly, have been interpreted by humans as impossible, demonic, divine, mathematical, terrifying, mechanical, and even boring. UP: A Natural History of Flying was researched and designed by students in the First-Year Initiatives (FYI) seminar. As part of this course, students are comparing the cultural significance of biological flight. Established in 1991, the FYI seminars introduce college-level study in which entering first-year students learn to be both students of the liberal arts and students at Beloit.

Casimira's Quandry Logo Casimira's Quandary focuses on the material culture of the Shipibo Indians, collected in Peru by the museum’s Mouat-Whiteford Expedition of 1965, and how the material reflects Shipibo life 50 years ago. The exhibit’s central question asked visitors to consider notions of “authentic” culture in a globalizing economy.

Fall 2013.

Ghost Dance Title How do cultures change themselves? One way is through “revitalization movements,” deliberate efforts by members of a society to construct a more satisfying culture. Revitalization movements usually occur in response to outside stresses and pressures and are often religious in nature. One of the best-known examples of revitalization movements was the Ghost Dance, a short-lived but significant example of Native American unification and resistance. The Logan Museum of Anthropology’s exhibit, Dancing to Renew the World: The Plains Ghost Dance, curated by Julia Lacher’13, featured one of the museum’s most significant objects: an Arapaho Ghost Dance dress. Only a handful of these dresses are known to exist.

October 2013.

Sacred Lives of Objects Sig Image

The objects in this exhibit have lived multiple lives. As they have moved from one context to another, they have taken on different identities— commodities, ritual objects, pieces of art, living beings. Now they are residents of the Logan and Wright Museum collections, coming up from the basement for a brief encounter with you.

This exhibit raises new questions about our relationships with objects, technologies, materials, and the sacred worlds they mediate. These objects have traveled the world before gathering together, yet their presence here is temporary. Where they go and what they do next in their lives is anyone’s guess. On exhibit through August 14th on the museum's first floor.

Spring through Summer 2013.

Object Investigations 2013

Together, the Logan Museum of Anthropology and Wright Museum of Art curate over 400,000 objects. Have you ever wondered how these objects made their way to Beloit, how they were made, or the significance to the people who made them? These are just a few of the questions collections management students investigated as part of their object study research project.

Spring through Summer 2013.

Molas Logo

The Kuna Indians of Panama make molas, textile panels, composed of layers of colored cloth, cut and sewn to create elaborate figurative and geometric patterns, which are sewn onto the front and back of Kuna women's blouses. Wearing mola--traditional Kuna dress--is an ongoing visual statement of Kuna identity. In the 1960s mola production was commercialized and remains an important source of income for the Kuna. Mola Textiles: Expressions of Kuna Indian Identity explores the cultural significance and history of molas, and the impact of commercialization and the global economy on mola production. This exhibit will highlight the Logan Museum's extensive mola collection, which includes a recent acquisition of over 80 molas from Marianne and Robert Huber.

Spring 2013.

Obsidian Exhibit Title Graphic

For Pre-Columbian cultures of Mexico and Central America, obsidian said a lot about a person's social status, religious faith, and military prowess.

Poetry Exhibit Title

Poems and the objects that inspired them by Beloit College creative writing students.

Spring 2013.

Promptly and Easily Title Graphic

Between 1898 and 1900 University of Chicago Professor of Anthropology Frederick Starr traveled among the indigenous people of southern Mexico. He measured the people, took photos of them and their surroundings, and made plaster life casts of men from each culture group. Starr believed Western Europeans and European-Americans represented the pinnacle of human social evolution. Through his work, he hoped to find the proper place lower down on the evolutionary ladder for the natives of southern Mexico.

shut the front door

Curated by students in Beloit’s Writing 100 class, this exhibit explored the idea of “home.”

April 2013

Aquatic Bounty Logo The Pacific Ocean has long provided an aquatic bounty for the people from California north to Alaska who live near it. Fish, whales, seals and other marine animals have provided food and raw materials for the indigenous people of this long coastal area for thousands of years. They still do today. Harvesting the Aquatic Bounty looks at how the people of the Northwest Coast and Alaska have collected and used the Pacific’s aquatic bounty, and how the importance of these resources are reflected in their culture.

Fall 2012.

Secret Color Title

Celadon ware is a style of ceramic that was extremely popular on the Korean peninsula during the Koryo Dynasty (918 and 1392). Celadon produced by Korean potters was famed for its beautiful turquoise color, inlay work, and overall craftsmanship. The Secret Color, curated by Beloit College student Julia Friberg’12, explores celadon styles and manufacture using objects from the Wright Museum’s Gurley Collection.

Spring 2012 through Fall 2012

Beloit - Algeria Title

Adila Talbi is curator of anthropology at the Bardo National Museum of Prehistory and Ethnography in Algiers. When Adila discovered that most of the Bardo’s collection of Native American objects came from the Logan Museum in 1930, she contacted the Logan for information about those objects. Her initiative led to extensive sharing of information between the museums. Adila also curated an exhibition on the Hopi people at the U.S. Embassy in Algiers, using collections loaned by the Logan. That exhibition, graciously provided by Adila, is what you see here. Exhibit text is in English, French, and Arabic.

Spring 2012 through Fall 2012.


Living Table Title Graphic

Food does more than just sustain our bodies. It shapes relationships between people at the dinner table and countries at the treaty table. It defines “haves” and “have nots.” It places people into gender and social roles. It is a commodity to be exploited for sustenance and profit. Students in Anthropology 375: Food and Culture explored these and other aspects of food. These food-related objects from the museum's collection were examined using a cultural lens and “interviewed” by students to learn how each one fit into larger cultural relationships surrounding food. These are their stories.

Spring through Summer 2012

 Poetry Exhibit Title

Poems and the objects that inspired them by Beloit creative writing students.

Spring 2012

OI 2012 Title Image

Together, the Logan Museum of Anthropology and Wright Museum of Art curate over 400,000 objects. Have you ever wondered how these objects made their way to Beloit, how they were made, or the significance to the people who made them? These are just a few of the questions collections management students investigated as part of their object study research project.

Growing Up Title Graphic 

Growing Up: Tools for the Work of Childhood This exhibit explored how parents, children, and societies around the world get the work of childhood done. Objects included a variety of baby carriers, children’s toys, games, clothes, and objects related to ceremonies that mark the passage to adulthood.

Spring 2012

 Bones Exhibit Logo 

Written on the Bones: The Archaeology of Human Health

Using material from the Anthropology department’s osteology collection and the Logan Museum’s archaeological collections, this exhibit explores how the physical remains of ancient populations help us learn about human health. Bones, teeth, and ceramic artifacts document nutrition, injury, and disease. Archaeologists use these clues to understand how people lived, how they were affected by disease, and how health and disease were understood within their cultures. FYIs: Note the connection to the common reading, The Ghost Map!

Fall 2011 through Spring 2012.

Blades, Beads and Burins logo

This exhibit explores the remarkable range of tools and artwork made by early humans in France during the last ice age. The Logan Museum of Anthropology curates one of the best collections of these materials outside of France.

Fall 2011 through Spring 2012 

Retooling the Other logo

During the fur trade, Native Americans encountered new materials brought by Europeans. They quickly utilized these new materials, incorporating them into their daily lives in many ways. Through adaptation, new forms of material culture were created. This exhibit presents some of the new forms that came forth from the interaction between natives and newcomers.

Summer 2011 through February 2012

Good to Think With Logo

Good to Think With: Animals in Culture

People have complex relationships with animals. At the most basic level people eat animals and wear animal skins or fur without ever seeing or even thinking much about the animals they come from. We share space and intimacy with animals as pets or livestock, close associations that create emotional bonds of varying depth and significance. People see in animals explanations for the world around them and, through animals, discover ways to communicate with the unseen. Good to Think With explores these multifaceted relationships

Fall 2011

Object Investigations logo 

Together, the Logan Museum of Anthropology and Wright Museum of Art curate over 400,000 objects. Have you ever wondered how these objects made their way to Beloit, how they were made, or the significance to the people who made them? These are just a few of the questions collections management students investigated as part of their object study research project.

Spring 2011

Turquoise Jewelry 

Veins of Turquoise in Navajo and Zuni Life

Using selected objects from the museum’s collection of Southwestern jewelry, this exhibit investigates the economic and spiritual importance of turquoise to the Navajo and Zuni people.

Case Studies: Art and Objects

See the world without leaving Beloit College. Students in the museum studies exhibit design class will open nine mini-exhibits of art and objects from around the world. These thought provoking and creative exhibits will give insight into the material culture of people from many times and places.

Spring 2011

Splendid Work

Thirty years before Beloit College formalized its study abroad programs, the Logan Museum of Anthropology sponsored a pioneering international archaeological field school. Fourteen students studied in Algeria during the spring semester of 1930, living in the field and excavating ancient shell mounds. Splendid Work: The 1930 Algerian Field School looks at the experiences of the students in Algeria and exhibits some of the objects they found.

Fall 2010

Culture of Glide Reflections logo

Inspired by the College’s “Cultural Approaches to Mathematics” course (MATH 103), The Culture of Glide Reflections looks at patterns of symmetry in ethnographic and archaeological objects from the Americas and Africa. Curated by Devon Armstrong’12.

 Fall 2010


Reciprocity: Social Aspects of Hopi Basketry explores the relationship between basket weaving and social obligations in Hopi society.


Hopi Pottery: Inspirations from the Past looks at the patterns, pots and people that define the Hopi Revival pottery tradition. 


Fashion of Feathers: Birds and People in the Amazon highlights objects that reveal the richness of the Amazon Basin and explores relationships between birds and people in the rainforest. 


Masks! explores how masks are used around the world. Includes a fun activity for kids and grown-ups to design their own masks that they can then share with other visitors or take home!


Polishing Your Image: Reflections on Bling is a student-curated exhibit that is the result of a semester-long project by the students of Museum Studies 370: Exhibit Design and Development. The exhibit explores the idea of using materials and items such as jewelry as status symbols, and includes artifacts from around the world.

Epic Struggle Logo

 â€œWayang” means “shadow” in old Javanese. It is also be used in a broader sense to mean the traditional shadow play drama of the Island of Java. While many cultures use shadow puppets to tell stories, only on Java is the art form so deeply rooted and popular. Wayang kulit theatre performers use flat puppets made of water buffalo hide. The puppets are highly stylized, intricately cut and carefully painted. Traditional Indonesian gamelan orchestra music accompanies the performance. One man, the dalang, or puppeteer, manipulates all of the puppets, conducts the orchestra and does all of the voices. The best puppeteers are like rock stars, drawing large audiences to their performances, which last all night. Epic Struggle in the Shadows: Javenese Wayang explores the origins, performance and meaning of this theatre form and the plays in its repertoire.

Soundscaping Logo.jpg 

Soundscaping: Tools of the World’s Music

The soundscape is the acoustic landscape in which we live. Any sounds, from the rustling of leaves in the wind to the groans of a car’s engine, are part of the soundscape. For millennia, music has been a familiar and important landmark within our aural environment. Every culture in the world has had some sort of musical tradition, and the majority of these traditions have included musical instruments. Across the globe, these instruments, just as their cultures, appear extremely diverse, but often possess a number of commonalities in design, performance technique, and function within their respective cultures. Soundscaping: Tools of the World’s Music showcases a multitude of musical instruments from the Logan’s collection, looking at percussion, string, and wind instruments from the Pacific Islands, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, North America, and South America.


Japan’s First People: Ainu Life and Spirit

An introduction to the history and culture of the indigenous Ainu people of Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido.


Harley Bartlett’s Asia

Traditional material culture of Indonesia, the Philippines and Taiwan as represented by the ethnographic collections of scientist Harley Harris Bartlett (1886-1960).


Sizing Things Up

If, as the saying goes, “form follows function,” then what could be the function of a tiny woven basket or a ceramic pot that is almost too large to be moved? Such questions will be addressed in this exhibit.

ART i FACTS (What do you See?): Reading Objects in the Museum

October 7 - February 1, 2009

Museum objects can have multiple uses and meanings. The different approaches to understanding museum objects is the focus of this exhibit which features items from the Logan’s recently acquired Gaples Collection of tribal art.

Maize! The Cultural History of Corn

December 21, 2008

Highlights the history, use, and importance of corn. From its earliest days as a plant domesticated by the ancient Indian people of Mexico, corn has played a central role in the evolution of civilization. Today it is one of the most widely used crops in the world-infused into the diets of billions of people and applied as a key ingredient in a vast range of products and manufacturing processes. Objects on display include several varieties of corn, Native-American corn-processing tools and textiles and art that depict corn, as well as many examples of corn-based products.

Woven in Oaxaca: The Francis Bristol Collection

July 1, 2008 - Sept. 28, 2008

For over 40 years independent scholar and collector Frances Bristol traveled Oaxaca documenting and preserving the region’s textile traditions. This exhibit introduces this remarkable woman and her life’s work.

Making an Impact: Halvor Skavlem's Experimental Archaeology

January 22-May 2008

Developed by Rich Kasper'07 and other Beloit College museum studies students, this exhibit spotlights the self-taught Wisconsin experimental archaeologist Halvor Skavlem (1846-1939). Skavlem's rediscovery of the craft of stone tool making helped archaeologists, collectors, and the public understand how ancient people made chipped- and ground-stone implements. Thanks to Logan Museum assistant curator Alonzo Pond (1894-1986), Skavlem's collection of replicas and original pieces was saved and his tool-making techniques preserved for posterity.

Bound to the Sea: Ritual, Hunting, and Society on the Northwest Coast

January 22-May 2008

Developed by Shannon Goshen'07 and other Beloit college anthropology and museum studies students, this exhibit shows how Native people used watercraft to procure marine mammals. Northwest Coast groups used dugout canoes to help them obtain whales, seals, and other animals from the Pacific Ocean for nearly 5,000 years. Dugout canoes enhanced food procurement, ritual, trade, and communication systems. Although the canoe may seem relatively simple, the social, political, and economic aspects of sea-mammal hunting are extremely complex. The nobles or heads of clan households controlled the ownership, practice, and activities associated with canoes, such as harvests and feasts, and the distribution of resources obtained by canoe. Watercraft technology helped stimulate new levels of sociopolitical complexity starting around 2,500 years ago. The Logan Museum's Northwest Coast collections illustrate this complex hunting practice and show its influence on the economy, social structure, social interaction, and art of Native Northwest Coast maritime societies.

The Columbian Exposition and Beloit

August 21-December 16, 2007

Explore connections between Beloit College and the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

Ceramics and Archaeology

July 10 - August 12, 2007

Featuring anthropology student research on ceramics in the collections of the Logan Museum of Anthropology and Wright Museum of Art.


Discovering Ancient Peru: Why Textiles Matter

March 30 - July 1, 2007

Ancient societies in Peru valued textiles highly and developed great skill in textile design and manufacture. Today, scientific analyses—including fiber identification, thread count, dye analysis, and weave structure—supply new insights into ancient textiles. Studying structure and design together can yield deeper insights than focusing on design motifs alone. This exhibition shows how new studies add to our understanding of Peruvian textiles and cultures. In addition to rarely-seen textiles, the exhibition includes decorated pottery vessels, allowing visitors to compare motifs seen on both ceramics and textiles.


The Batak: Tradition and Transition in Northern Sumatra

June 6 - September 17, 2006

This exhibit explores the Batak people of Sumatra, Indonesia and features a colorful array of textiles, masks, and religious objects from the Logan Museum of Anthropology's permanent collection. The exhibit was guest curated by George Ulrich, Curator Emeritus of African and Oceanic Ethnology at the Milwaukee Public Museum. This will be the Logan Museum's last temporary exhibit in the Shaw Gallery for two years. The gallery will be closed while the Logan implements a collections rehousing project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, to be completed in 2008.

At Right: Detail, Ikat textile, Sumba, Indonesia (LMA 6566.4)


Beads Communicate!

December 3 - May 21, 2006

This exhibit explores the world of beads from their earliest forms to the present. Artifacts presented from all over the world show that, more than just decoration, beads are a visually powerful communication system. Beads have been important cultural markers in every society since the Ice Age. When beads are strung or sewn together, their materials, colors, and arrangements communicate important information on ethnicity, gender, age, marriage status, religion, trade, wealth, class, politics, and history.

At Right: Tungus Boots, upper Tunguska, Yeniesei River area, Siberia from the William B. Webster'12 Collection


Architecture and Artifacts at Teotihuacán

January 27-May 21

The rich cultural heritage of ancient Mexico is the focus of "Architecture and Artifacts at Teotihuacán." The exhibit features examples of pottery vessels, figurines, and other artifacts from the Logan Museum's collection along with photographs of Teotihuacán, one of the largest archaeological sites in Mesoamerica. Beloit College sophomores Jennifer Laube and Ellen Sieg researched the museum's holdings and then toured and photographed the ruins of Teotihuacán, paying particular attention to decorative elements on the structures. Together, Laube and Sieg's photographs and Logan Museum objects illustrate distinctive styles in the site's art and architecture.


Alive With Beauty and Strength: Native American Raptor Feather Headdresses

January 17 - May 21

One of the most recognizable symbols of Native American identity, the feather headdress was important in religious ceremonies and war. In this exhibit visitors can examine headdresses from seven different Native American tribes. See the structure that allows the feathers to move in unison in the wind to mimic the slow, strong beat of the wings of the sacred eagle, thus transferring their sacred power to the wearer. See also how non-Native society has appropriated Indian headdresses.


International Students - International Collections

November 8 - December 23, 2005

The Logan Museum of Anthropology celebrates International Education Week with a special exhibit profiling ancient archaeological and historic artifacts from a number of Beloit College international student countries of origin. The Museum holds significant collections from 112 nations around the world.

Among the artifacts included are an elaborate ceremonial axe from India and a bone knife sheath from Japan. These are two of the countries that have the greatest numbers of international students attending the college. Many of the other sixteen non-USA home countries ­ from the Americas and Africa to Asia ­ also are represented in this exhibit.

At Right: Detail, Chinese silk embroidered jacket. LMA 1991.3.1


Turtle Culture

August 12 - November 30, 2005

Turtles that inhabit all continents in the world other than Antarctica have inspired the Logan Museum of Anthropology’s exhibit, “Turtle Culture.” The Museum’s encyclopedic collections, with additions from the Wright Museum of Art and a private collection, hold several artifacts portraying turtle imagery. Among the many cultures that hold the turtle in high regard and represented in the exhibit are peoples from Australia, Papua New Guinea, Japan, China, Tanzania, and Venezuela as well as the United States.

Many cultures around the world use turtles for important practical, ceremonial, and aesthetic purposes. Visitors can compare how people at different times and places perceive, portray, and use turtles—an ancient and now endangered family of reptiles—in a wide variety of ways.

At Right: Iroquois snapping turtle shell rattle used in False Face Society curing rituals.


Milestones: Logan Museum Anniversaries

July 6 - October 9, 2005

2005 marks several important milestones in the history of the Logan Museum of Anthropology (LMA). This exhibit shows the growth and some of the major accomplishments of the Logan Museum over the past century and more. The origins and early development of LMA collections, the evolution of exhibit styles, and the importance of the anniversaries we mark this year are highlighted with many associated artifacts, natural history specimens, and photographs.

The Logan Museum has much to celebrate in 2005:

  • 100 years in Memorial Hall
  • 75 years since the final Logan-Saharan Expedition in North Africa
  • 50 years since the acquisition of the fabulous Albert Green Heath Collection
  • 10 years since the completion of the $4 million facility upgrade

At Right: The Logan Museum of Anthropology’s new logo is inspired by this paired-turtles Mimbres bowl excavated 75 years ago at the Mattocks Ruin, New Mexico, by curator Paul H. Nesbitt.


Native American Sport - Physical and Ceremonial

August 31 - October 9

Far from being simple "idle amusements," in most traditional Native American societies, sports and games were rarely played simply for fun. These activities were not merely recreational, but held important social and religious value. Preparations included spiritual as well as physical exercises, and outcomes influenced, or were influenced by, the supernatural powers.

This exhibit presents five Native American sports including lacrosse, shinny, snow gliders, snow snakes, and "chunkey" along with illustrations and information on their ceremonial and social importance to Native societies.

At Right: Quechan (Yuma Apache) shinny stick & ball


Stars & Eagles: The American Flag in Native American Art

May 4 - July 31, 2005

This exhibit was curated by the students in the MUST 370 Exhibit Design & Development class. It examines the history and variety of meanings associated with the use of the American flag image and other patriotic symbols in the decoration of Native American artifacts.

At Right: Brilliantly colored Sioux porcupine quillwork wristlet makes use of eagle symbolism.


"Melanesian Images Revisited"

This exhibition spotlights 20th-century art from Papua New Guinea, an island nation located between Australia and Indonesia. James Tobin collected the material between 1984 and 1990, and Virginia Tobin donated it to the Logan Museum in 1995. The exhibit helps visitors learn about the history and geography of Papua New Guinea and about the wide cultural diversity among its peoples. The exhibit also highlights the wide variety of art forms represented in this unique collection. A related reception ( 4:30-5:30 p.m.) and program (5:30-6:30 p.m.) scheduled for February 11, 2005 will provide participants an opportunity to handle objects from Papua New Guinea and learn more about the regions represented in the exhibit. George Ulrich, Curator of African and Pacific Ethnology at the Milwaukee Public Museum, will present an informal survey of Papua New Guinea art during the event.

At Right: Mount Hagen Sing Sing, Papua New Guinea Highland by James D. Tobin, 1988.


Both Binding & Separating: Sashes as Symbols of Identity

Bright colors in the form of braided sashes are interwoven through many Native American and other cultures in the New World. This exhibit examines several Native American flat braided sashes. These textiles have become important symbols of national identity for at least three groups on the continent: French Canadians, Native Americans, and the mixed descent Métis. Braided sashes thus have become a rare example of a true North American “intercultural object”—a type of artifact holding deep meaning for more than one cultural group.

At Right: Osage beaded arrow sash, Oklahoma

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Floating on the Surface of the Softest Snow: Native American Snowshoes

Deep snows made snowshoe technology essential for winter travel and success in hunting. This exhibit examines some of the many types of snowshoes made by Native North Americans to fit the nature of the terrain, qualities of snow, time of the year, intended use, as well as the size and sex of the user. Making snowshoes was generally a cooperative task among men who carved the wooden frames and women who laced the rawhide webbing. Lacing snowshoe webbing requires great manual dexterity and practical knowledge. These essential artifacts for winter survival were often finely made with great attention to details. Snowshoe makers decorated them by painting symbols on the webbing, lacing the webbing to make geometric patterns, or adding colored cloth or tufts of yarn to the frames.

John Warner Norton ‘Rise of Man’ Murals


"The History of Mankind" Then & Now

Twelve impressive works painted by Chicago muralist John W. Norton grace the upper walls of the Logan Museum of Anthropology's Christine L. and Robert G. Shaw Gallery. "The History of Mankind" murals were commissioned by Chicago philanthropist and Beloit College Trustee Frank Logan and his wife Josephine in 1923 to illustrate the development of human culture and the amazing breadth of the Logan Museum collections. This exhibit examines how the ideas behind these images have themselves evolved in the 80 years since they were painted. They were widely used and became popular among the general public in the mid-1920s during the controversy surrounding the Scopes "Monkey Trial."

At Right: "The Chellean", by John W. Norton, 1923-1924


"Aboriginal Australia"

The Logan Museum of Anthropology presents "Aboriginal Australia" with several unique and fascinating artifacts representing the many cultures native to the world's largest island. Australian Aborigine archaeological materials, weapons, fiber arts, religious items, and contemporary art provide scope for comparison with the many other world cultures currently on display. This exhibit runs through September 2004.

At Right: Bark painting such as this one currently on display usually depict origin myths from the era when the Aborigines believe the world and its inhabitants were created, the Dream Time.


"New Acquisitions, 2001-2004"

Artifacts recently acquired by the Logan Museum of Anthropology are on exhibit in the Christine L. and Robert G. Shaw Gallery through September 2004.

Many fascinating artifacts--from ancient archaeological material to modern Native American tourist art--continue to be added to the Logan Museum's collections of more than 200,000 objects. Museum collections allow visitors and researchers to compare and contrast artifacts, helping people to study specific cultures as well as cross-cultural connections and differences.

See how the world-wide scope of the Museum's collections and teaching resources continue to be strengthened with new additions from as far afield as Papua New Guinea, Africa, Peru, Haiti, Mexico, and as close to home as Rock County, Wisconsin.

At Right: Mask collected by a missionary from an African convert.


Important Points: Awls in Native American Material Culture

The importance of awls in the Native American tool kit is the focus of the newest temporary exhibit at the Logan Museum of Anthropology. As shown by the artifacts on display--among them a finely quilled birch bark basket--both male and female craftsmen continue the ancient tradition of using this important tool with high degrees of skill.

As he was being guided overland to the shores of the Arctic Ocean by Athapaskan-speaking Chipewyan in May 1771, Hudson's Bay Company servant Samuel Hearne admired their skill with a limited tool kit that included ". . . an awl, in the use of which they are so dextrous, that every thing they make is executed with a neatness not to be excelled by the most expert mechanic, assisted with every tool he could wish."

At Right: Common form of bone splinter awl from the Starkweather Ruin Site, Upper Gila Reserve, NM (LMA 22462)

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Sealed with Smoke: Pipes and Cultural Interaction in Eastern North America

The Logan Museum of Anthropology's newest exhibit, "Sealed With Smoke: Pipes and Cultural Interaction in Eastern North America," examines the critical role of the aboriginal tobacco, pipe, and smoking complex in structuring and facilitating relations among Natives and newcomers.

The use of tobacco pipes was the most powerful and consistent means of structuring early relations among Native American and European groups. This exhibit presents many fine examples of Native American pipes from the Great Lakes and Upper Mississippi Valley region as evidence of the ritual, diplomatic, trade, and social significance of tobacco pipes and smoking. The ethnobotany of tobacco, manufacturing techniques, and an impressive variety of Native American pipe forms are presented.

Special programs related to the exhibit will be presented, supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Humanities Council -- check the Logan Museum calendar for details.


Dazzling Threads: Saltillo Sarapes and their Navajo Descendants

The exhibit was student curated by Katie Ediger, an Anthropology major with minors in Museum Studies and Latin American Studies. The exhibit is the culmination of her research on the Logan Museum's stunning Saltillo sarape collection. Saltillo sarapes are finely woven and colorful wearing blankets from Northern Mexico made during the mid 1800s. The exhibit explores the influence Saltillo sarapes had on Navajo textile design in the American Southwest. Elements of the Saltillo sarape were adopted by the Navajos and became known as the "eye dazzler" style. This exhibit runs through Sunday 22 February.

These textiles truly are dazzling and not to be missed!


Inuit Kayaks!

Students in the Beloit College Upward Bound program taking the Native American Culture class offered by the Logan Museum have mounted an exhibit titled "Inuit Kayaks!". The display includes a full size example of a seal skin covered kayak, several models, the tools used to construct these unique boats, weapons that would be used from a kayak, and artistic representations of kayaks in ivory figurines. The exhibit is on display in the Christine L. and Robert G. Shaw Gallery at the Logan Museum until the end of August.

seated_male_sm.jpgSee the World in Beloit: Highlights from the Logan Museum Collections

For 110 years, the Logan Museum of Anthropology at Beloit<