In 1965, Laurance S. Rockefeller purchased a 10,000 item collection from Indian artifact collector David T. Vernon. Seven years later, Rockefeller transferred 1,428 items from the collection to Grand Teton National Park. The Colter Bay Indian Arts Museum displayed and housed that collection for more than 40 years. Currently the majority of the collection is undergoing conservation work at the Western Archaeological Conservation Center in Arizona. More than 80 objects have returned to Grand Teton and are on display at both the Craig Thomas and Colter Bay visitor centers.
Thanks to a new partnership between the National Park Service and Google, digital images of 75 pieces from Grand Teton National Park’s David T. Vernon Collection are now featured in the Google Cultural Institute, a digital platform which makes hundreds of culturally significant objects in the National Park Service’s museum collection available online. Saddle bags, dresses, belts, vests, moccasins, cradleboards, and tools are some of the many pieces featured on this digital platform. A brief description accompanies each image, providing the viewer with stories of each artifact. The images provide incredible, vivid detail that could not be seen in a traditional museum. This would not have been possible without the support from the Foundation and Grand Teton Association.
Want to see intricate Indian artifacts from the Vernon Collection as you never have before? Visit the Google Cultural Institute here.