Skip to main content.

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Website Search Box

Department of Anthropology


Photo by Ken Rahaim


online exhibit:

Mask of a Negro woman

Herbert Ward: The Artist, His Sculptures, and His African Collection at the Smithsonian

Herbert Ward, a British sculptor, collector and writer, lived and worked in the Congo between 1884 and 1889. In the Congo Ward made a large collection of objects which served as an inspiration for his sculptures of Congolese life. In 1921 Sarita Ward, the artist’s widow, donated the bronze sculptures along with his collection of Congo objects to the Smithsonian. This web exhibit highlights Herbert Ward’s artistic career, his Congo object collection, and includes a catalogue of his bronze sculptures.

researchers at CT scanner

Smithsonian Institution Bio-Imaging Research (SIBIR) Center
tomographic imaging and analysis of SI collections and beyond.

PNG community project with Joshua Bell

Recovering Voices
brings together communities, individuals, and academics to document and revitalize endangered languages and knowledge from around the world.

Book cover: Living our Cultures
Living Our Cultures, Sharing Our Heritage: The First Peoples of Alaska
is an exhibition catalog with essays and photography that provide an in-depth view of Alaska Native cultural heritage.

Dept of Anthro
Department of Anthropology Staff, 1904, Smithsonian Institution Archives, NAA-42012

Anthropology is the study of humans and their societies in the past and present.

The research conducted by the Department of Anthropology staff covers a wide range of topics and areas of the world. Topics include human-environmental interactions, population migration, origins of domestication, linguistics, and forensic anthropology, among many others.

The collections of the Department of Anthropology are a vast and unparalleled resource for inquiry into the world's cultures, from prehistory to the present day.


Department of Anthropology Staff, 2007
Photo by Chip Clark


19th Century Explorers and Anthropologists: Developing theEarliest Anthropology Collections for the Smithsonian
Six Smithsonian anthropologists relate the fascinating stories of how the Smithsonian came into possession of important, early collections from around the world and their value for research and local communities to this day.

[ TOP ]