Religion

Page from the Koran

One hallmark of the American experience captured in the Museum's collections is the nation's broad diversity of religious faiths. Artifacts range from Thomas Jefferson's Bible to a huge "Sunstone" sculpture carved for a Mormon temple in Illinois in 1844 to a household shrine from the home of a Pueblo Indian in the 1990s. Furniture, musical instruments, clothing, cooking ware, and thousands of prints and figures in the collections have all played roles in the religious lives of Americans. The most comprehensive collections include artifacts from Jewish and Christian European Americans, Catholic Latinos, Protestant Arab Americans, Buddhist and Christian Asian Pacific Americans, and Protestant African Americans. One notable group is the Vidal Collection of carved figures known as santos and other folk religious material from the practice of Santeria in Puerto Rico.