Friday, February 12, 2010

Smithsonian National Museum of American History Online

The Smithsonian National Museum of American History houses more than three million objects, and the museum is gradually building its online collection to share these treasures with you electronically.  You can browse the collections by such subjects as advertising, art, family and social life, food, natural resources, popular entertainment, religion, transportation, work, and many more.  You can choose to limit your search to items accompanied by images.  It's fun to browse through their "featured object groups," such as the National Numismatic Collection, the National Quilt Collection and The Ferris Collection of Prints.

 On the subject of art, the NMAH Web site states, "The National Museum of American History is not an art museum. But works of art fill its collections and testify to the vital place of art in everyday American life. The ceramics collections hold hundreds of examples of American and European art glass and pottery. Fashion sketches, illustrations, and prints are part of the costume collections. Donations from ethnic and cultural communities include many homemade religious ornaments, paintings, and figures. The Harry T Peters "America on Stone" collection alone comprises some 1,700 color prints of scenes from the 1800s. The National Quilt Collection is art on fabric. And the tools of artists and artisans are part of the Museum's collections, too, in the form of printing plates, woodblock tools, photographic equipment, and potters' stamps, kilns, and wheels."

Image: Mexican Guerrilleros, from the Harry T. Peters "America on Stone" Lithography Collection, National Museum of American History.

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