The Meunier American Centennial Target Rifle

rifle
Made by Milwaukeean John Meunier (1834-1919) and displayed at the American Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876, this rifle is considered one of the most handsome and well crafted schuetzen rifles extant. Meunier built this rifle as a tribute to his adopted Country and the discipline of German style target shooting (schuetzen). This .41 caliber percussion rifle boasts silver-washed and engraved steel furniture with gold inlay and a beautifully carved stock demonstrating the meticulous work of the Meunier shop and John Meunier's personal dedication to the sport of schuetzen.

Storyteller figure

storyteller figure
This impressive ceramic storyteller was made by renowned Southwest artist Mary E. Toya of Jemez Pueblo in the early 1980s. At 19 inches tall and with 115 children attached, this is one of the largest and most intricate pieces of its kind. Storyteller figures symbolize the wisdom of elders and illustrate the importance of contact between generations. The value of stories is highly prized by American Indians and oral history is still a means of educating young people in the traditional knowledge and values of their cultures.

Carl P. Dietz Collection of business machines

typewriter

The Carl P. Dietz Collection of business machines currently numbers approximately 1,200 machines of which 900 are typewriters. The collection reflects the diversity of typewriter manufacturers and the development of machines from the 1870s to the late 1980s. The Dietz Collection holds Museum-made models of the earliest typewriters designed by Christopher Latham Sholes, post-1873 Remington production models, and many seminal typewriters of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Mexican Kickapoo Collection

silver adornment
The Mexican Kickapoo reside on a reservation in the Santa Rosa Mountains of Coahuila. They originally inhabited land in northwest Ohio and southern Michigan, but were forced westward to northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin in the mid-1800s. They slowly spread westward into Kansas and south into Oklahoma, some reaching as far as northern Mexico. This collection comes from 1954 fieldwork conducted by Dr. Robert Ritzenthaler, Milwaukee Public Museum Curator of Anthropology, and from anthropologists Dolores and Felipe Latorre between 1960 and 1972.

Crow Gun Case

gun case
This Crow gun case was collected by Colonel J.J. Upham, a Milwaukee native, during his military service in the mid to late 1800s on the Western frontier. Upham collected a variety of American Indian materials while stationed at military forts. His collection was donated to the museum by his wife shortly after his death in 1898. The gun case is an excellent and rare example of Crow leather craftsmanship and bead working ability.

Blackfeet robe

elk skin robe

The painted Blackfeet elk skin robe in the Museum's collection came from Montana and is believed to have been painted by Mike Left Arm, showing his own exploits. The paintings depict primarily horse stealing scenes. Horses were important to the Blackfeet way of life, and it was a great achievement to acquire them through theft.

Ostrich Shell Belt

shell belt
This ostrich shell belt was made by the San (Bushmen) of Botswana, a country in southern Africa. Ostrich shells play important roles in their culture, serving not only as beads for body ornamentation, but also as water storage containers, essential in the hot, dry environment in which the San live. To make beads, the egg shell is broken into small fragments, which are further shaped by hand into circular pieces. A small hole is drilled through the center of each bead. The whole process is by hand, so considerable time would have gone into the making of this belt.

Peruvian Textiles

textile
The Milwaukee Public Museum has approximately 860 Peruvian textiles in its South American collection, a large portion donated in 1964 by collector Malcolm Whyte. Most of these items were obtained from the southwest coast of Peru and are associated with burials. The intricate textiles preserved by the dry, hot climate of the Peruvian desert coast, illustrate a variety of weaving and decorative styles, representing several different cultural periods. Items from the collection can be viewed on the 3rd Floor Pre-Columbian Mezzanine.

Chamacoco Collection

belt ornament
The Museum's Chamacoco Collection consists of 70 objects, such as this belt ornament made of tropical bird feathers, and represent items both for everyday use and for ceremonies. Collected in 1925 by the Museum of the American Indian in New York, they came to the Milwaukee Public Museum that same year. The Chamacoco live in the Gran Chaco region of northwest Paraguay. The Chamacoco today alternate between their traditional hunting and gathering and more recent light agriculture, craftsmanship, or labor.

Swiss Lake Collection

organic materials
The Swiss Lake sites were first excavated in the mid 1840s and popularized by Swiss archaeologist Ferdinand Keller. Their interpretation as villages located over the lakes brought them much acclaim and made the collections from the sites' excavations much sought after by museums world-wide. Today, it is known that some, but not the majority, of these sites were built over water. They date from the Neolithic through the Bronze Age (4,000 BC-700 BC).