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Julian Steward Antiquities Collection – Julian Steward Collection 2

Julian Steward Antiquities Collection


Julian's Private Collection

The collection is believed to be attributed to the late Julian Steward (Steward), one-time Professor of Anthropology at the University of Utah and Southern Illinois University. Steward is the author of Ancient Caves of the Great Salt Lake Region, Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 116, Washington (1937). This publication includes drawings and descriptions of artifacts, many of which appear to be part of the collection now in the hands of Marvin L. Storm.


Steward was active in excavations at several locations in the Eastern Great Basin in the 1930s-1940s and it is believed that the current collection was accumulated by Steward during that time with the aid of an association of collectors. Whether these collectors were close friends or students isn’t clear and there are no records as to why Steward retained the collection rather than leave it permanently in a museum system. It is assumed that he took the collection when he left the University of Utah. It is further assumed that the collection followed him to Southern Illinois.

Steward passed away in February of 1972. The collection remained with his estate. Sometime after Stewards passing, the collection was placed on loan at Brigham Young University, where it was housed in the former Biology Department in the old Brimhall Building. Sometime during the late 1970s, the family was notified that the University would no longer store the collection because of potential liability for damage. The family requested the estate Executor to recover the collection from the University and liquidate the material. The Executor happened to be the owner of an art gallery in Salt Lake City.

In 1985, the present owner found the collection in the art gallery and was introduced to the owner/Executor. Arrangements were made to purchase the entire collection. The current owner has held the collection in privately since the purchase with the exception of a brief period of time the collection was on display at a museum.


The Antiquities Gallery

The Julian Steward Collection originate from the northeastern portion of the Great Basin, probably from caves and open occupation sites around the Great Salt Lake and the tributary streams that feed the lake. Artifacts within the collection appear to span an appreciable length of time and can be attributed to numerous cultures or cultural periods.