Please note: This hall is closed as it undergoes a multi-year restoration project.
About This Hall
Opened in 1899, the Northwest Coast Hall is the Museum's oldest gallery. Franz Boas, the "father of American anthropology," conceived it as the first museum exhibition to value indigenous cultures on their own terms, not in relation to Western cultures. The cultural items displayed in the hall were acquired by the Museum during the late 1800s and early 1900s from different Northwest Coast communities.
The hall has been modified since its opening, but retains much of its original design. The culture-names in the alcoves reflect what anthropologists called these communities a century ago, not what the communities call themselves now. In September 2017, the Museum announced a multi-year project to update, restore, and conserve the Northwest Coast Hall. In October 2018, renowned Nuu-chah-nulth artist and cultural historian Haa'yuups was named co-curator in the restoration of the hall.
See the detailed history and archival photos of this hall.
About the Northwest Coast
"Northwest Coast" refers to the coast of North America that extends from southern Alaska through Canada to Washington State. With vast cedar and spruce forests and myriad inlets, islands and rivers, this unique region has been home to people for millennia. Some of the Northwest Coast's indigenous cultures—still vibrant today—are highlighted in this hall.
Northwest Coast Cultures Represented in the Hall
The Hall Today
For more than a century Museum visitors have sought out this unique hall as a center of learning and a source of wonder. The Museum engages and collaborates with people from the Northwest Coast and all over the world through exhibits like this one, as well as through education, public programs and other projects.