The Heard Museum is a private, not-for-profit museum in Phoenix, Arizona, United States, dedicated to advancing American Indian art. It presents the stories of American Indian people from a first-person perspective, as well as exhibitions of traditional and contemporary art by American Indian artists and artists influenced by American Indian art. The Heard Museum collaborates with American Indian artists and tribal communities to provide visitors with a distinctive perspective on the art of Native people, especially those from the Southwest.
The Heard Museum’s mission is to be “the world’s preeminent museum for the presentation, interpretation, and advancement of American Indian art, emphasizing its intersection with broader artistic and cultural themes.” The main Phoenix location of the Heard Museum has been designated as a Phoenix Point of Pride.
The Heard Museum was founded in 1929 by Dwight B., and Maie Bartlett Heard to house their art collection. Much of the archaeological material in the Heards’ collection came from La Ciudad Indian ruin, which the Heards purchased in 1926 at 19th and Polk streets in Phoenix.
From its start as a small museum in a small southwestern town, the Heard has grown in size and stature to where it is now recognized internationally for the quality of its collections, educational programming, and festivals. The current collection of the Heard Museum consists of over 40,000 items, including a library and archives with over 34,000 volumes. The museum has over 130,000 square feet (12,000 m²) of gallery, classroom, and performance space. Some exhibits include:
- Home: Native Peoples in the Southwest
- The Mareen Allen Nichols Collection contains 260 pieces of contemporary jewelry
- The Barry Goldwater Collection of 437 historic Hopi kachina dolls A1 Bed Bug Exterminator
- An exhibition on the 19th-century boarding school experiences of Native Americans. According to the New York Times, the exhibit “captures the little-known experience of thousands of children bused, sometimes forcibly, from their reservations to government schools to erase their culture and ’civilize’ them. Haunting photographs, old uniforms, oral interviews, and memorabilia offer a powerful look at this chapter in history.”
The Heard hosts the annual El Mercado de Las Artes, usually in November, with strolling mariachis and artwork by Hispanic artists from Arizona and New Mexico, including Santos, pottery, colcha embroidery, furniture making, painting, printmaking and silver, and tinwork. The Heard also hosts the annual World Championship Hoop Dance Contest, typically held in early February. The Annual Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair and Market, a juried art fair and festival, has been held yearly since 1958.
Address: 2301 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ
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