The Museum’s first Director, Thompson Van Hyning, purchased this long shirt from Seminole Chief Tony Tommie in the 1920s. Chief Tommie was the first Seminole to attend school. Van Hyning wanted Tommie to attend UF, and lobbied the university president on his behalf – unsuccessfully.


Man’s Long Shirt
Made by a Seminole artist, South Florida
Dates to 1920s


South Florida Archaeology


In the early 20th century, Seminole men commonly wore garments like this one, resembling a loose-fitting dress. Although these shirts later featured patchwork, the early ones from 1900 to 1920 had simpler appliqué bands. Our Museum’s first director, Van Hyning, bought this shirt from Tony Tommie. Tony Tommie was the first Seminole Indian to attend school. The shirt was displayed for years in the Museum. Although the colors have faded, it is still an important object that harks back to the early days of the Florida Museum.

Bill Marquardt
Curator, South Florida Archaeology & Ethnography*
Director, Randell Research Center*
Florida Museum of Natural History


On display Sept. 23, 2017-Jan. 7, 2018, Rare, Beautiful & Fascinating: 100 Years @FloridaMuseum celebrated the Museum’s rich history. Each Museum collection was asked to contribute its most interesting items and share the stories that make them special. Though the physical exhibit is closed, this companion website remains online, providing an opportunity to experience the Florida Museum’s most treasured specimens.

Exhibit Area: Objects Tell Stories

Theme: Seminoles in Florida

Cover of the All Things Beautiful bookWant to see more? Explore more than 300 breathtaking color photos of plants, animals, fossils and cultural heritage materials from the Florida Museum of Natural History’s collections in the award-winning book All Things Beautiful available from the University Press of Florida.

*This title was accurate at the time the exhibit was on display in 2017. Please visit the collection website to verify current staff and student information.

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