Idaho’s Cultural & Heritage Gems

Idaho is known for its gems, both precious stones and unexpected cultural treasures. From classic Western and Native American heritage to modern, world-class art, any history or art lover can find the ideal outlet to captivate their imagination. 

James Castle House, Photo credit Boise City Department of Arts & History

James Castle House

The James Castle House in Boise, Idaho honors the life and work of American artist James Castle and is one of the newest riches now open to the public. Castle, a self-taught artist known for works using found objects and homemade paints and washes, spent his years observing and recording life in his Boise home from 1931-1977. Castle was born deaf and never became proficient in reading, writing, or a conventional means of communication. This unique perspective is seen in his work reframing his surroundings and experimenting with letters, signs and symbols.

Castle’s abstract soot drawings are often compared to abstract expressionism in postwar American art. Much of Castle’s recognition has been posthumous, including major exhibitions around the U.S. and Spain.

Tour the James Castle House to gain a greater understanding of Castle’s unique work, his mark on the art world and the house that served as his sanctuary and inspiration. Informal and free drop-in tours and talks are offered at 12:00 pm every Thursday – Saturday.

Nez Perce National Historical Park, photo courtesy Idaho Tourism

Nez Perce National Historical Park

To absorb true American heritage, visit the Spaulding, Idaho site at the Nez Perce National Historical Park. Take a journey back in time to follow the story of the Nez Perce Flight of 1877, the 126-day journey across four states. Discover the legends of Nez Perce who were forced to leave their land when their reservation was reduced to one-tenth of its original size after the 1863 Treaty.

Established in 1965, the Spaulding site includes interpretive trails and exhibits offering an intimate look at the stories and historical objects of the Nez Perce people. Reconnect with the past at this unique National Park experience.

Featured image: Reception at James Castle House. Photo credit: Boise City Department of Arts & History

To learn more, contact:
Idaho Department of Commerce – Tourism Development
700 West State Street
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0093
Phone: (208) 334-2470
Toll free: (800) 847-4843