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William Henry Holmes (1846-1933), Archaeologist and Artist

Gustav's Library Reprints of W. H. Holmes

Aboriginal Pottery Cover

Ancient Pottery of the Mississippi Valley Cover

Aboriginal Pottery of the Eastern United States - W. H. Holmes

Ancient Pottery of the Mississippi Valley - W. H. Holmes






About the Author: William H. Holmes started his career as an artist with the U.S. Geological Survey and was then subsequently promoted to assistant geologist.  While on assignment to the American Southwest, he developed his lifelong interest in archaeology.  In 1882 he was appointed honorary curator of aboriginal pottery at the Smithsonian. His later career positions included: Curator of Anthropology at the Field Museum in Chicago, Head Curator of Anthropology at the Smithsonian's National Museum,  Chief of the American Bureau of Ethnology and finally the Director of the National Gallery of Art.  His artistic bent was evidenced by the displays he designed for the National Museum and the drawings that accompanied many of his literary works.  He also appreciated and described  the artistic value of the ceramics and shell arts of the American Indian.

1872-1889 Hayden survey -artist.  The story goes he was seen sketching mounted birds in the National Museum and was hired as an artist for the Hayden Survey.  He was designated a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in 1879 when it absorbed the Hayden Survey.

1882   Curator of Aboriginal Ceramics in the U. S. National Museum

1898   Received the coveted Loubat prize from Columbia University for his work in American Archaeology and was transferred to Bureau of American Ethnology

1872-1889  Head Curator of Anthropology at the Field Museum in Chicago.

1897-1902  Head Curator of Anthropology at the U.S. National Museum.

1902-1909  Chief of the Bureau of American Ethnology

1909-1920 Helped establish the Division of Physical Anthropology and conducted his museum work

1920-1933  Director National Gallery of Art

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