Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center in Moose has a new Native American artifact exhibit—Living Traditions: Reflections of the Past. The display demonstrates the similarities and differences between the past and present within Native American cultures. The incredibly detailed and vibrant works of art span generations while combining two collections—31 items from the David T. Vernon Collection and 41 items from Mr. Laine Thom. The exhibit aims to connect visitors with modern Native American artwork, illustrating how traditions like beadwork and quillwork continue within these cultures today.
Artifacts from both collections reflect the same themes, patterns, and forms regardless of when they were created. Medium and techniques, however, have changed dramatically. Traditional use of natural pigments on rock walls and hides has evolved to modern methods. Regardless of the age or materials, a common theme is the link from the work of art to the artists and tribes.
Be sure to find the display when you stop by the visitor center this summer! It is located in the southeast corner of the building near the entrance to the auditorium.
About the Vernon Collection:
The David T. Vernon Collection, which was gifted to the park in 1972 by Laurance S. Rockefeller, contains 1,416 pieces in total. A fantastic representation of social and cultural objects used by tribes across America from 1830-1940, the collection features a visually stunning array of items including clothing, jewelry, weapons, and tools. Many of the pieces can be traced directly back to individuals—a rare feature among collections of this type.
About Laine Thom:
Laine Thom is Shoshone, Paiute, and Goshute, and also a long-time seasonal interpretative ranger in Grand Teton. He began his National Park Service career in Grand Teton National Park working alongside the David T. Vernon collection in 1977; just one year after the Rockefeller’s donated the Vernon Collection to the park. Laine’s collections include items purchased from various artists from the Colter Bay Indian Guest Artists Program.