U.S. Department of the Interior Museum

U.S. Department of the Interior Museum Sharing the history and activities of the U.S. Department of the Interior since 1938.
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⏳ Deadline approaching February 15th! Only one week remains to apply for our paid, collections-based museum  . Our 1,200...
02/08/2024

⏳ Deadline approaching February 15th! Only one week remains to apply for our paid, collections-based museum . Our 1,200-hour posting at the Interior Museum is among 50 opportunities nationwide through the NCPE program. Learn more 👉 ow.ly/ixS050QroSt

🖍️ Kick off your week with some color!   Week is underway, and our 2024 coloring book edition is among nearly 100 others...
02/06/2024

🖍️ Kick off your week with some color! Week is underway, and our 2024 coloring book edition is among nearly 100 others from museums, libraries, and archives worldwide now live via The New York Academy of Medicine's portal. Be sure to tag us in your creations! Download your coloring pages here: https://ow.ly/7f2q50Qy6Cj

02/02/2024

Several African American heritage sites are protected and maintained by the Department of the Interior to honor the contributions the Black community has made and continues to make to our nation.

⏰ Don't delay! Only two weeks remain to submit your application due February 15 for the next round of NCPE internships. ...
02/01/2024

⏰ Don't delay! Only two weeks remain to submit your application due February 15 for the next round of NCPE internships. For all the info on our 1200-hour, paid, collections-based internship (position 3665b/4080b), visit: https://ow.ly/ixS050QroSt

Are you seeking a paid, collections-based museum internship for summer/fall 2024? Our 1200-hour posting (see position 36...
01/16/2024

Are you seeking a paid, collections-based museum internship for summer/fall 2024? Our 1200-hour posting (see position 3665b/4080b) is NOW OPEN and is among 50 opportunities available nationwide through the NCPE program. Applications are due 2/15/2024. Learn more ➡️ https://ow.ly/N46I50Qrlq1

Due to the recent winter weather, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management has closed Federal office buildings in the Was...
01/16/2024

Due to the recent winter weather, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management has closed Federal office buildings in the Washington, DC area. As a result, the U.S. Department of the Interior Museum is not open today (Tuesday, January 16, 2024), and today's building tour has also been canceled.

Welcome to opm.gov

The Endangered Species Act turns 50 today! Among the objects in our collection that reflect this landmark conservation l...
12/28/2023

The Endangered Species Act turns 50 today! Among the objects in our collection that reflect this landmark conservation legislation is this set of commemorative US postage stamps first released earlier this year at a special ceremony in Wall, South Dakota (INTR 07857-58).

12/15/2023

❄️With the holidays upon us, we extend our warmest wishes to you this season. Enjoy these greetings from across Interior; see if you can spot the one from the Interior Museum!

This 2022 oil on linen work, "Night Run" represents one of Chickasaw Nation artist Lance Straughn's "spirit paintings"—s...
12/01/2023

This 2022 oil on linen work, "Night Run" represents one of Chickasaw Nation artist Lance Straughn's "spirit paintings"—so called because each is created with what he describes as the feeling of being guided in its creation. He found inspiration for this painting in witnessing the beauty of the breeze blowing through the moonlit tall grass of the Oklahoma prairie. It evoked for him the movement of herds of bison that "once ran free over these rolling hills." (OSAC 07411)

Originally from the Sioux Tribe of Eagle Butte in South Dakota, Wilmer Dupree went in the mid 1930s to study at the Stud...
11/30/2023

Originally from the Sioux Tribe of Eagle Butte in South Dakota, Wilmer Dupree went in the mid 1930s to study at the Studio of the Santa Fe Indian School in New Mexico. While the school itself was founded in 1890 in an attempt to assimilate Native youth, the Studio was a later addition. Born of the same sentiments that would also fuel President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "Indian New Deal," the Studio was established in 1932 by Art Institute of Chicago graduate Dorothy Dunn as a fine arts program to train Native artists and foster an international market for their work.

Dupree's circa 1935 watercolor, "Sioux Horses," shown here bears many of the hallmarks of the "Studio School" style: straight-on perspective with minimal background, solid color fields, and a depiction of scenes from everyday life. (OSAC 02729)

For the remainder of Native American Heritage Month, we're highlighting pieces from our collection by Native artists. He...
11/29/2023

For the remainder of Native American Heritage Month, we're highlighting pieces from our collection by Native artists. Here is J. Dylan Cavin's 2021 acrylic on canvas piece, "Purple Plains." Cavin is an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation. He attended college on an art scholarship, focusing on painting, figure drawing, and graphic design. He has subsequently explored photography, comic art, and tattooing. Regardless of the medium, Cavin believes that his “art is as simple and complex as making a connection to the viewer through my work.” He has increasingly garnered national honors over the past decade. Prior to this painting coming to the Interior Museum's collection, it was featured at the 2021 Red Earth Festival, which, since 1987, has been a premier annual event in Oklahoma showcasing Native American art and dance. (OSAC 07374)

🎨   Update:  150 years ago, it is Thanksgiving Day, and artist Thomas Moran welcomes to his home John Wesley Powell, lea...
11/28/2023

🎨 Update:

150 years ago, it is Thanksgiving Day, and artist Thomas Moran welcomes to his home John Wesley Powell, leader of the survey expedition that Moran accompanied over the summer to the Grand Canyon. Moran has Powell preview his "Chasm of the Colorado" piece for which he has completed a charcoal outline just two days earlier. Moran has not yet touched paint to canvas, but already Powell is "highly delighted with the design."

11/23/2023

May your holiday be filled with family, friends, nature and happiness.

From all of us at Interior, have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving! 🦃

Photo by David Turko

This   week, we join in celebrating Indigenous culture and the significance of moccasins by sharing just a few from the ...
11/16/2023

This week, we join in celebrating Indigenous culture and the significance of moccasins by sharing just a few from the our U.S. Department of the Interior Museum collection.

Image: a collage of 7 pairs of moccasins--ranging from doll and child's sizes to adult--made with hide, fur, and beads. (INTR 00634, 01191, 00670, 01146, 01229, 00635, 07328)

Of the 16 secretaries of the U.S. Department of the Interior who are veterans, four are interred at Arlington National C...
11/11/2023

Of the 16 secretaries of the U.S. Department of the Interior who are veterans, four are interred at Arlington National Cemetery. On this , we're taking a look back at their service:

🇺🇸 29th secretary Hubert Work, M.D., was the first physician in a U.S. cabinet, serving under presidents Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge (1923-28). During World War I, he was in the United States Army Medical Corps and attained the rank of lieutenant colonel. He would continue his service as a colonel in the reserves.

🇺🇸 President Harry Truman's Interior secretary from 1946 to 1949 was Julius Krug. Krug had been a lieutenant commander in the United States Navy but was recalled after five months to serve as chairman of the War Production Board, a position he held until the board’s dissolution in November 1945.

🇺🇸 During World War I, Oscar Chapman was in the United States Navy Medical Corps as a hospital apprentice. He would go on to serve in numerous positions at the Department of the Interior, culminating in becoming the 34th secretary (1949-53).

🇺🇸 Thomas Kleppe served from 1942 to 1946 during World War II as a Warrant Officer in the United States Army. Under President Gerald Ford, Kleppe was the 41st secretary of the Interior (1975-77).

Images: Official portraits are from the Interior Museum's collection (INTR 01633, INTR 01637, INTR 01638, INTR 01645). Photos of the corresponding headstones are courtesy Arlington National Cemetery.

As we head into the   weekend, we're sharing an interesting piece of U.S. Department of the Interior from our collection...
11/11/2023

As we head into the weekend, we're sharing an interesting piece of U.S. Department of the Interior from our collection. Service flags with stars have historically denoted numbers serving and lost. This service flag (INTR 01065) hung inside Interior’s headquarters building during World War I and bears 30 stars. Ultimately, 46 Department of the Interior employees died during World War I.

The accompanying photograph is from the National Archives (RG48, Box 2019) and shows a much larger, outdoor version of the World War I service flag hanging on the facade (note: the Interior headquarters back then now houses the General Services Administration's headquarters).

11/09/2023

Save the date! On Saturday, November 11 — in honor of Veterans Day — entrance fees on all Interior-managed public lands will be waived across the country. We encourage everyone to get outside and take advantage of the health benefits of spending time in these natural spaces that belong to all of us.

Whether it's hiking, camping or climbing on lands stewarded by Bureau of Land Management, bird watching or visiting national wildlife refuges on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service-managed lands, or enjoying national parks️, monuments️ and historical sites curated by National Park Service – fee-free days offer an incredible opportunity to enjoy America's public lands.

Photo by Christopher Gezon / Zion National Park

A bison has been on the official seal of the U.S. Department of the Interior almost continuously since 1917. As a result...
11/04/2023

A bison has been on the official seal of the U.S. Department of the Interior almost continuously since 1917. As a result, these majestic mammals appear in art and architectural details throughout our headquarters building. In honor of , we wanted to share a few with you!

Clockwise from top:
🦬 Detail of a bison and calf from the 1940 mural, "Hunting Ground" by Navajo artist Gerald Nailor (1917-1952).
🦬 1939 bison head in a wall mural by Kiowa artist Stephen Mopope (1898-1974).
🦬 Detail of a grazing bison herd from Daniel Galvez's 1999-2000 mural, "Guardians of the Past."
🦬 Detail of a bison and calf from the 1940 bas relief, "American Bison" by Boris Gilbertson (1907-1982).

10/31/2023

🎃 From all of us at the Interior Museum, have a spook-tacular Halloween!

🎥 5-second video clip shows an illuminated jack-o-lantern carved with the museum's bison logo, sitting on a bed of autumn leaves. Message reads, "Happy Halloween from the Interior Museum!"

⏳Time is ticking to submit your NCPE internship application by the November 7 deadline! For more info on our 640-hour, p...
10/28/2023

⏳Time is ticking to submit your NCPE internship application by the November 7 deadline! For more info on our 640-hour, paid internship at the Interior Museum, visit https://ow.ly/1BLT50Q1ybm.

For the listing of *all* 36 NCPE opportunities across the country, visit https://preservenet.org/ncpe-internships/

📷 Collage of 6 photos of interns working with Interior Museum collections in a variety of settings.

We're getting in on the   fun through October 31 and celebrating the crucial role bats play in the environment. If you'r...
10/25/2023

We're getting in on the fun through October 31 and celebrating the crucial role bats play in the environment. If you're visiting us in person at the Interior Museum, be sure to pick up one of our friendly, origami paper bats! Want to get even more "batty"? Be sure to check out additional content from our other Department of the Interior colleagues:

🦇 Cast you vote in the Bureau of Land Management's : https://www.blm.gov/press-release/bureau-land-management-oregon-washington-goes-batty
🦇 Learn from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service about the importance of bats and conservation efforts: https://www.fws.gov/story/bats-are-one-most-important-misunderstood-animals
🦇 Explore the National Park Service's "bativities," bat science, and more: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/bats/bat-week.htm

🌈 It's  , and between our exhibitions and the New Deal-era murals visited as part of public tours of our building, you c...
10/23/2023

🌈 It's , and between our exhibitions and the New Deal-era murals visited as part of public tours of our building, you can experience ALL the colors of the rainbow! That's also true for those who have color vision deficiency, because we have recently begun offering EnChroma glasses for color blind guests to borrow while at the Interior Museum.

😎 For an example of how we're expanding the view, here's a side-by-side comparison of our mural, "Guardians of the Past" by Daniel Galvez. Plan your next visit today: https://doi.gov/interiormuseum/Plan-a-Visit

🐺 As   concludes, we're sharing Montana-based contemporary artist Shirl Ireland's evocative oil on linen painting, "Alph...
10/22/2023

🐺 As concludes, we're sharing Montana-based contemporary artist Shirl Ireland's evocative oil on linen painting, "Alpha Spirits" in our collection (OSAC 07429).

This piece depicts two skull specimens in the natural history and scientific collections stewarded by Yellowstone National Park's Heritage Research Center. They are from two storied wolves—21M and 42F—exemplifying the reintroduction of wolves and ongoing research in Yellowstone. Wolf 21 was born in 1995 as part of the first litter of wolves in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in more than 70 years. From 1998 to 2004, he was the alpha male in Yellowstone's Druid Peak Pack in the Lamar Valley. Wolf 42 would become the pack's alpha female and Wolf 21's longtime mate. They were frequently spotted together, as represented in this scene. Wolf 42 died in February 2004, and after methodically searching for her, Wolf 21 went into decline, passing away just four months later as the oldest known wolf in the park.

As the sun sets on this year's National Wildlife Refuge Week, we conclude with a final refuge highlight from our collect...
10/14/2023

As the sun sets on this year's National Wildlife Refuge Week, we conclude with a final refuge highlight from our collection. This serene image, "Elk at Sunset," was captured by renowned photographer David Halpern circa 1975, during a time he was frequenting Oklahoma's Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge.

Wichita Mountains is one of the oldest national wildlife refuges in the U.S. Originally set aside in 1901 as a forest reserve, the area was redesignated in 1905 by President Theodore Roosevelt “for the protection of game animals and birds and shall be recognized as a breeding place thereof.” In 1908, elk were reintroduced to replace native herds that had previously been hunted into extinction.

📷 Elk at Sunset
Pigment ink print on EPSON Exhibition Fiber Paper, © David Halpern, 1975
U.S. Department of the Interior Museum, OSAC 07450

We're continuing our collections highlights for National Wildlife Refuge Week with this embroidered textile piece, "Spri...
10/13/2023

We're continuing our collections highlights for National Wildlife Refuge Week with this embroidered textile piece, "Springtime in Noxubee" by Susan Lenz, who was inspired by her Spring 2023 artist-in-residency at Mississippi's Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge. Established in 1940, the refuge's upland hardwood forests, cypress swamps, and wetlands provide key habitat for migratory birds, overwintering waterfowl, and the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker.

Lenz created this complex piece from layers of polyester stretch velvet fused and backed on repurposed black synthetic packaging felt. To represent tree leaves in the refuge, she used a free-motion sewing machine to embroider the leaf outlines in black cotton thread. In a technique developed by Lenz, exposing the artwork to a burst of intense heat from a heat gun causes the spaces between the fabric shapes to melt away while still retaining the connective threads. She likens the process to controlled burns done in the refuge for maintaining healthy forests, saying, "It transforms the area into something new and beautiful." Lenz chose her colors to reflect ones seen on her many walks at the refuge: the greens, yellows, and pinks of budding dogwoods and blooming redbuds, as well as the light blue that appears at dawn over 800-acre Bluff Lake.



🎨 "Springtime in Noxubee," by Susan Lenz, 2023
Gift of the artist
U.S. Department of the Interior Museum, OSAC 07465

We'll be closing out the remainder of National Wildlife Refuge Week (October 8-14) by highlighting works in our collecti...
10/12/2023

We'll be closing out the remainder of National Wildlife Refuge Week (October 8-14) by highlighting works in our collection reflective of just a few of the 570 units that make up the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Wildlife Refuge System.

Shown here is a piece by Georgia resident Lydia Thompson, who has taken her love of birds and her talents as an artist, nature writer, birding guide, and educator and combined them into a way of life. She has been birding in all 50 states and in six Canadian provinces!

This watercolor completed in 2000 represents Thompson's work closer to home by depicting a sampling of the 233 bird species native to Georgia's Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. Okefenokee derives its name from words in indigenous languages roughly translating to "trembling waters"—a reference to the land's past as an ancient peat bog. Established via Executive Order in 1936, the refuge preserves one of the world's largest unfragmented freshwater ecosystems.

How many different birds can you spot?



🎨Untitled watercolor by Lydia Thompson, 2000.
U.S. Department of the Interior Museum, OSAC 07358

Are you seeking a paid, collections-based museum internship to begin in early 2024? Our 640-hour posting (see 3665b) is ...
10/11/2023

Are you seeking a paid, collections-based museum internship to begin in early 2024? Our 640-hour posting (see 3665b) is NOW OPEN and is among more than 30 opportunities nationwide through the NCPE program. Applications are due November 7, 2023. Learn more ➡️ https://ow.ly/ybIg50PVGIg

Address

1849 C Street NW
Washington D.C., DC
20240

Opening Hours

Monday 9am - 5pm
Tuesday 9am - 5pm
Wednesday 9am - 5pm
Thursday 9am - 5pm
Friday 9am - 5pm

Telephone

(202) 208-4743

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