Staff, faculty, and students from the U-M History of Art department recently toured the collections of the Museum of Anthropological Archaeology, housed at the Research Museums Center. The off-campus facility houses UMMAA’s 3 million objects, ranging from archaeological ceramics and stone tools to basketry made by local Native communities as recently as 2018.

Collections managers Jim Moss and Andrea Blaser, alongside Bryan Miller, UMMAA curator and History of Art faculty member, shared their work on decolonizing the collections through active collaborations and community involvement and their efforts to raise awareness of the collection across the U-M campus. Museum staff have engaged with students across a wide range of disciplines, including history, political science, classical studies, and the School of Information, and they are excited to grow their relationship with the History of Art department.

Highlights from the tour included pieces from the global weaponry collection, a beaded Oneida bandolier bag made for the 1904 World’s Fair, and a large selection from the Chinese Government Collection (textiles purchased from the Chinese delegation to the 1884 Cotton Centennial World’s Fair).

The UMMAA collections are available for classroom teaching and for tours—both in-person and remote—for any interested researcher. Please email


Above photo: Bryan Miller, UMMAA curator and History of Art faculty member, with UMMAA collections managers Jim Moss and Andrea Blaser, outside the Research Museums Center. Photo by Elaine Medrow.


Below: Included in the tour was this object, a beaded bandolier bag from the Oneida Nation, Wisconsin, circa 1904. UMMAA #13000. Photo by Elaine Medrow.