American Indian Art
Important Acquisitions now on display
The rare Blackfeet War Chief’s Shirt and Leggings and the complete Apache Woman’s Dress and moccasins were acquired in 2016. These two very rare and important American Indian artifacts are now on exhibit in the American Indian Gallery.
THANK YOU to everyone who donated to the construction of the casework and mounts by our talented museum staff so that we could properly display and share these important artifacts for all to experience.
American Indian Art at The Brinton Museum
The Brinton Museum was established as an institution dedicated to American Indian Art & Culture, as well as to American Fine and Decorative Art. In the 1920s and 1930s Bradford Brinton collected American Indian art and artifacts from the Plains to the Southwest and to the Northwest Coast, from baskets to beaded dresses, Navajo weavings to painted parfleche, headdresses and hide shirts to Hopi and Chilquat robes. The newly gifted Goelet and Edith Gallatin Collection of American Indian Art continues to build on this mission of collecting and exhibiting the finest of American Indian and especially Plains Nations’ art and artifacts. After being on loan to the Art Institute of Chicago for the last 40 years, it was recently gifted to the museum by the Foundation for the Preservation of American Indian Art and Culture.
Currently on exhibit in the John and Adrienne Mars Gallery of American Indian Art, To Honor The Plains Nations features more than 60 pieces of this extensive gift, plus several special selections from The Bradford Brinton Memorial Collection and, in addition, several newly acquired items.
American Indian Art & Artifacts throughout the museum include blankets and robes, war bonnets, painted war shirts, beaded dresses, jewelry, horse gear, blanket strips and more. American Indians are also the central subject of many of The Brinton Museum’s Western Art paintings, drawings and etchings, as well as sculpture by Frederic Remington, Charles M. Russell and Edward Borein, to name just a few.
The Brinton Museum's Two Leggings War Shirt Receives Award as one of Wyoming's Top 10 Most Significant Artifacts in 2016!
Two Leggings’ shirt is historically and artistically one of the most important pieces in the Goelet and Edith Gallatin Collection at The Brinton Museum. It is on exhibit in the John and Adrienne Mars Gallery in “To Honor The Plains Nations”. Attributed to Two Leggings (ca. 1847-1923), Chief of the River Crows, this painted buffalo hide war shirt dates from c.1870. The shirt is blackened all over, indicating that Two Leggings was the first man to capture a gun and strike coup in battle. The fringe is painted the sacred red and a flintlock rifle is painted on the rear of the right sleeve, symbolizing the captured weapon. A sacred Thunderbird is painted on the back representing Two Leggings’ supernatural guardian. The single braided hair lock, tied at the front of the right sleeve, may be from an enemy scalp.
The Wyoming State Historical Society in partnership with the University of Wyoming Libraries initiated Wyoming’s Most Significant Artifacts program to provide recognition to the cultural institutions throughout Wyoming that preserve and provide access to collections that enhance our enjoyment and understanding of Wyoming’s heritage and provide ongoing learning and research opportunities.