When brothers William and Frederick Muschenheim opened the Hotel Astor to New York City's elite in the fall of 1904, they offered their guests and visitors a unique experience -- the opportunity to sip drinks, sample hors d'oeuvres, and enjoy viewing the hundreds of Native American baskets, ceramics, and artwork displayed in the room. This "Hall of the American Indian," which served both recreational and educational purposes, featured artifacts and photographs acquired from Alaska to Mexico by explorers, traders, and scientists.
When the Hotel Astor renovated its Indian grill room in 1937, Nancy, Lady Astor donated nearly 300 pieces from the Hotel's Native American collection to the University of Virginia. Portions of the collection are featured in changing exhibitions at the Bayly Art Museum. Now, for the first time ever, the entire collection is available on-line to the viewing public.
We invite you to enter our virtual Hall of the American Indian and examine this special collection of objects caught between Native- and Euro-American cultures and their portrayals at the turn of the 20th century.
Images and Text Copyright, 2000
The Rector and Visitors of the
University of Virginia, Charlottesville.
Additional images from the Hotel Astor and its
promotional publications. Additional text
by Brian Horne and the Bayly Art Museum.