Shopping at the Department of the Interior

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(Last Updated On: October 17, 2018)
We have previously sought out the Indian Craft Shop at the Department of the Interior, having heard that it has a lovely selection of goodies for sale. Of course, we never actually had an address and could never quite figure out where the place is. This time we are determined to find it.

We know it is inside the Department of the Interior’s building, but there are no signs outside to indicate there is a gift shop (or a museum, for that matter) within. Like all of these federal agency monster buildings from the 30’s, the entrance is designed to look serious and a little forbidding – it indicates that only those who need to enter to conduct business should do so.


But the shop HAS to be inside here somewhere, so we enter.

I expect to see a sign for the shop once we get inside, but there is none.

Instead, we find an empty lobby with the usual government-building security screening post. I tell the woman at the desk that we are looking for the Indian Craft shop. In answer, she wordlessly pulls out a couple of “Visitor” tags and hands us the sign-in sheet. I guess that means it is here somewhere. Only after we have signed in does she provide direction.

Still, this doesn’t look very promising. We are definitely in an office building, but, sure enough, down the hall and too the left a small sign marks the entrance to the Indian Craft Shop. The sign looks as if it was installed when the building was constructed. Time seems to move slowly here.

We open the door to a treasure chest of goodies. Immediately in front of the door is a glass display case, the nearest end of which holds jewelry, including an exquisite-looking pair of earrings. I give them a second quick glance as we walk into the shop. I’ll be back to look at those again. I think they might need to go home with me.

A quick look around tells me they have a lot of great pottery (and a good selection of books), but the jewelry is calling out to me. Back at the long glass case, I start at the end farthest from the earrings I had noticed on the way in. I joke with the clerk as I ask her to pull out a bracelet inlayed with Navajo blanket designs, telling her I know it is too expensive because I have an eye for expensive pieces, but that I’d like to see it anyway. The bracelet by Tommy Jackson is lovely, but it is also quite expensive. Luckily it is sized for a man and Lane reminds me that he doesn’t wear jewelry. Nothing more to think about.


I look at a few more pieces and then decide to just cut to the chase – I want to see the earrings I noticed on the way in.

When she sets the earrings in front of me, I realize they will also be very expense, as they are made up of beautiful micro inlay done by Carl and Irene Clark – artists whose work I have admired for a very long time.

On no. . . I REALLY want them. They are so beautiful!

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