In the grand style of the World's Columbian Exposition (1893) and Paris Exposition (1900), the Jamestown Ter-Centennial Exposition commemorated the three hundredth anniversary of Jamestown's establishment by English settlers in 1607. The exposition featured a separate space for African American exhibitions due to segregationist policies of the Jim Crow era. Thomas W. Hunster, Director of Drawing for Washington, DC's African American public schools, was among the leaders who ensured that displays clearly communicated African American achievement while advocating for civil rights. He is acknowledged as a collaborator, along with other notables such as historian Daniel Alexander Payne Murray, in Giles B. Jackson and D. Webster Davis's report on the exposition, The Industrial History of the Negro Race in the United States, published in 1908 and revised in 1911.
Professor Hunster and his students received accolades for their work. In the black-and-white photo above, student-made items included paintings similar to two portraits of parrots in the Museum's collection. The top row contains a painting similar to Parrot (below) by William N. Buckner, Jr., made two years after the Ter-Centennial. Buckner, a student of Professor Hunster's at the renowned M Street School, went on to become an artist and a principal in Washington, DC public schools.