International Museum of Cultures

By: John C. Nystrom

Type: General Entry

Published: February 1, 1995

The International Museum of Cultures is an ethnographic museum on Camp Wisdom Road in southwest Dallas. It is affiliated with the Summer Institute of Linguistics and Wycliffe Bible Translators. The museum was part of development plans for the International Linguistics Center. A museum committee was formed by ILC, Incorporated, in 1974. The museum was incorporated in 1979 as SIL Museum of Anthropology. The new name was adopted in 1981, when the first gallery opened. The museum facility is a 6,000-square-foot building designed by Philip Henderson of Dallas. Funds for it were donated by Margaret and Trammel Crow, Caroline and Bunker Hunt, Esther Beth and Orville Rodgers, and the Helen Mitchell Travis Charitable Trust. The museum's collections come from cultures around the world, including South American, Amazonian, Papua New Guinean, and African. Some of the highlights of the museum's collections are early Quichua pottery and a complete Kewa house. Collections come from field staff of the Summer Institute of Linguistics as well as private collectors. Materials are collected especially to document the changing cultural heritage of indigenous peoples. The museum staff consists of four full-time, eight part-time, and forty volunteer personnel. It maintains a shop for arts and crafts from around the world. In addition to public exhibits and lecture series, it also publishes a newsletter and the "SIL Museum of Anthropology Series," begun in 1976, which includes A Look at Latin American Lifestyles (1976) by Marvin Mayers and Gods, Heroes, Kinsmen (1983), edited by William R. Merrifield.

  • Museums, Libraries, and Archives
  • Museums
  • Cultural History Museums
  • Dallas/Fort Worth Region
  • Dallas
  • North Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

John C. Nystrom, “International Museum of Cultures,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 16, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

February 1, 1995

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: