The Filson Historical Society Digital Projects

Museum Collection


Museum Collection


The collection consists of digitized artifacts and artwork from the Filson Historical Society's Museum Collection.


Museum Collection, The Filson Historical Society, Louisville, Kentucky.


Property rights in the collection belong to The Filson Historical Society. The Filson Historical Society can provide high-resolution scans of original source materials from its holdings for non-commercial and commercial use. To learn about this process, visit



Collection Items

  • Gabby_001.jpg

    Selection of two illustrations for the book Gabby Gaffer by Louisville, Kentucky artist Carrie Douglas Dudley Ewen.
  • The-Wedding.jpeg

    For nearly five decades, abstract painter Gloucester Caliman “G.C.” Coxe (1907-1999) was a fixture of the Louisville art scene. The first Black artist to receive a fine arts degree from the University of Louisville, Coxe worked and exhibited with a milieu of artists including Sam Gilliam and Fred Bond. He co-founded the Louisville Art Workshop, where he worked alongside Gilliam, Bond, Robert Douglas, and Ed Hamilton, and was a mentor to generations of Louisville artists.
  • 2021.17.1_001a.jpg

    A small doll from an unknown time period, most likely during the early twentieth century. The doll has two sides: one girl with dark skin and black hair poking from her red hood, and a girl with light skin behind her white dress. The two girls are tethered at the hip, and when one side of the doll is flipped, the other side is revealed. It is unknown who exactly made this specific doll, who would have played with it, or when it would have been made.
  • 2020.37.1_001a.jpg

    Throughout the summer of 2020, many businesses in downtown Louisville boarded up their windows during the social justice protests in response to the killing of Breonna Taylor. In the fall of 2020, Tawana Bain, founder of the Global Economic Diversity Development Initiative (GEDDI) led a campaign called "Tearing Down the Walls Together," collaborating with Black-owned businesses and creators to use the boards to beautify downtown and to memorialize the movements for justice through painted artworks - turning symbols of fear and division into ones of hope and renewal. Once the art was completed, the boards were auctioned off during a "Black Harvest" event at the end of October. The Filson is proud to own one of these works by artist Arielle Biddix. This frame was custom made by Mike Strauss.
  • IMG_0798.jpg

    Drum of Louisville Legion. The drum has a wooden cylindrical body which supports on three sides a layer of green paint, and in front an image of a soldier. To the left of the image, is painted, "Louisville Legion 1840," and to the left of that, "Kentucky Rifles 3'd CO. L.L.," which stands for third company of the Louisville Legion. Brass brads secure the cylinder. The bottom and top are similar, both having leather stretched on thin wooden hoops which fit over the edge of the cylindrical body. Also, on each end are two thick wooden bands, painted in red, which contain holes through which the ropes were tied.

    This drum was used in the field band of the Louisville Legion during the march to the Mexican War in June 1846. The drum was also used in the Civil War by the Louisville Legion, known as the Fifth Kentucky Infantry and was used during the Spanish-American War.
  • GW Medal.png

    Front and back view of a George Washington Inaugural Centennial Medal that was given out to those who participated in the centennial parade in New York City.
  • Steamboat 1 (1944.3.2).BMP

    Oil painting of the steamboat "Fleetwood" by Harlan Hubbard. Kentucky writer and artist Harlan Hubbard (1900-1988) recorded his and wife Anna’s lives on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers in words and images. They traveled the rivers on a shantyboat and lived very simply in Payne Hollow, Trimble Co., Ky. Hubbard recalled in the book Shantyboat: A River Way of Life that “when I had first begun to paint, I turned naturally to the river, which had attracted me from my earliest years. I carried my sketch box along its shores, on canoe trips, and on steamboats.”
  • JM White - H Hubbard (1944.3.3).BMP

    Oil painting of the steamboat City of Owensboro by Harlan Hubbard. Built at the Howard Shipyard in 1885, the ship was sold in 1895 and renamed the City of Osceola.
  • Morrison,GW-Steamboat (1944.3.16).jpg

    Landscape painting by George W. Morrison. The painting depicts a steamboat, a barge, and a rowboat. Morrison based this painting on Karl Bodmer's painting/engraving "Cave-in-Rock" [Illinois] that appeared in his Travels in the Interior of North America, 1832-1834 (published ca. 1843).
  • Steamboat at St Louis (1944.3.7).jpg

    Watercolor painting of the steamboat Chester, which was originally named the Cherokee, at St. Louis. The artist is unknown.
  • Eccentric Collector .jpg

    Portrait of Julius Friedman in his studio by Jim Cantrell.

    Commemorative Mug for the Central High School Reunion for the classes of 1935 and 1936 at the 1976 Reunion.

    "I confess to an ambitious desire of becoming more than a mere atom floating in the sunbeam of prosperity. I coveted a distinct individuality, yet it is my deliberate opinion that I also loved learning for its own sake."
    - Julia Ann Hieronymus Tevis, founder of Science Hill Female Academy

    This “BWC” ribbon, in the colors of the women’s suffrage movement, was most likely worn by a member of the Business Women’s Club. Many women became politically engaged through their involvement in women’s clubs. This ribbon was probably worn at one of the BWC’s suffrage meetings: perhaps in 1901 when leader Laura Clay visited the club or in the 1910s when voting rights for women became a popular (and divisive) cause.

    Susan Look Avery founded the Woman's Club of Louisville in 1890 when she was 73 years old. The club supported civic improvements, championed education and philanthropy, and cultivated the fine arts. It had 39 charter members who were often involved in other activist organizations as well. Avery herself was a leading member of the Louisville Equal Rights Association, the city's first organization dedicated to winning the vote for women.


    Wool, velvet

    Cotton, lace