Pottery, figurines, and jewelry from the Elkus Collection (Native American)

Elkus Collection (Native American)

Nearly 1700 Native American objects, including textiles, jewelry, baskets, pottery, works of art on paper, katsina carvings, and beadwork. The primary focus is the U.S. Southwest, but California, Alaska, the Northwest Coast, and the Plains regions are also represented.

A catalog of the Elkus Collection is available for purchase from the Department.

Items from the Rollo Beck Collection (South Pacific)

Rollo Beck Collection (South Pacific)

Approximately 400 objects from at least 14 distinct island groups, including the Solomon, Fiji, and Santa Cruz Islands. The items were collected independently in the late 1920s by members of the American Museum of Natural History-sponsored Whitney Expedition. See our online exhibit The Pacific Voyages of Rollo Beck.

Pots, knives, forks, and cups from the Rietz Collection of Food Technology

Rietz Collection of Food Technology

More than 1200 items from around the world, but primarily of European or American manufacture. The objects relate to the role of food in various cultures, including processing, storage, preparation, and serving. Visit our online exhibits, many of which feature objects from the Rietz Collection.

A wooden bowl and other items from the Ostheimer Collection (Hawai'ian)

Ostheimer Collection (Hawai'ian)

Nearly 500 Hawai'ian objects, including stone tools, wooden bowls, fishing equipment, feather leis, and a fragmentary warrior's helmet.

A bone carving of Charlie Chaplin and other items in the Liebes Collection (Native Alaskan)

Liebes Collection (Native Alaskan)

Approximately 1000 Native Alaskan objects, primarily bone and ivory tools, ivory craft items, two full-sized kayaks, and two baleen baskets.

A colorful dog figurine, two small children made of wood, and other items in the Kadota Collection (Japanese Folk Toys)

Kadota Collection (Japanese Folk Toys)

Over 500 handmade mingei (traditional folk toys), with examples from temples and festivals in every prefecture, and including clay rattles, papier mâché figurines, wooden kokeshi dolls, and painted votive plaques.

Four Hopi figurines in the Owings Collection (Hopi Katsinam)

Owings Collection (Hopi Katsinam)

100+ Hopi katsina carvings, including many identified by artist.

Five fragments of ancient textiles from the Rietz Collection of Textiles (Coptic Egypt and pre-Columbian Peru)

Rietz Collection of Textiles (Coptic Egypt and pre-Columbian Peru)

Over 75 fragmentary Coptic textiles from the first millennium CE and nearly 60 complete or nearly complete pre-Columbian Inca clothing items. See our online exhibit Coptic Textiles from Egypt.

A catalog of the Rietz Collection of Coptic Textiles is available for purchase from the Department.


A spoon, a vase, and other items in the Torry Collection (Gabra, Kenya)

Torry Collection (Gabra, Kenya)

Nearly 250 objects, mostly household and utilitarian objects, collected in the 1970s among the Gabra people of Kenya.

Various pieces of pottery from the Elgueta Collection (Mayan)

Elgueta Collection (Mayan)

Over 1000 objects from Chalchitan and Pichikil, archaeological sites in Highland Guatemala. Predominately jade and pottery, this collection survived the 1906 earthquake and fire, and many of the pieces bear scars from those events.

Eleven different types of lamps from the Allen Collection of Lamps

Allen Collection of Lamps

Approximately 300 lighting devices from around the world and across the centuries, including lamps from over 30 cultures ranging in age from 100 to 3500 years old.

Anthropology Collections

Our permanent research collection consists of more than 16,000 objects, most of which are ethnographic. Current strengths include holdings from the U.S. Southwest and the Pacific Islands, and basketry from California. Our searchable online database features the entire Anthropology collection, including digital images for every piece.

Online Exhibits

View online exhibits featuring objects from the Academy's Anthropology collection.

Collection Catalogs

Catalogs of select portions of the Academy's Anthropology collection have been produced over the years. Southwestern Indian pottery and jewelry, Coptic textiles, and Polynesian tapa cloth have all been featured.

Anthropology FAQs

How to access our collections, donate objects, apply for an internship, and more.