Heard Museum

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Heard Museum HeardMuseum May2013.jpg
Heard Museum

The Heard Museum is a private, not-for-profit museum located in Phoenix, Arizona, United States, dedicated to the advancement of American Indian art. The museum 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 on providing visitors with a distinctive perspective about the art of Native people, especially those from the Southwest.

Museum institution that holds artifacts and other objects of scientific, artistic, cultural, historical, or other importance

A museum is an institution that cares for (conserves) a collection of artifacts and other objects of artistic, cultural, historical, or scientific importance. Many public museums make these items available for public viewing through exhibits that may be permanent or temporary. The largest museums are located in major cities throughout the world, while thousands of local museums exist in smaller cities, towns and rural areas. Museums have varying aims, ranging from serving researchers and specialists to serving the general public. The goal of serving researchers is increasingly shifting to serving the general public.

Phoenix, Arizona State capital city in Arizona, United States

Phoenix is the capital and most populous city of Arizona, with 1,626,000 people. It is also the fifth most populous city in the United States, and the most populous American state capital, and the only state capital with a population of more than one million residents.

Arizona state of the United States of America

Arizona is a state in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the Western and the Mountain states. It is the sixth largest and the 14th most populous of the 50 states. Its capital and largest city is Phoenix. Arizona shares the Four Corners region with Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico; its other neighboring states are Nevada and California to the west and the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California to the south and southwest.


The mission of the Heard Museum 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." [1] The main Phoenix location of the Heard Museum has been designated as a Phoenix Point of Pride. [2]

Phoenix Points of Pride

The Phoenix Points of Pride are 33 landmarks and attractions within the Phoenix, Arizona, city limits that are claimed to represent the best features of the city for both residents and visitors. Each Point of Pride was selected through an election process that involved 40,000 residents voting for their favorite destinations and resources.

The museum formerly operated the Heard Museum West branch in Surprise which was closed in 2009. [3] The museum also formerly operated the Heard Museum North Scottsdale branch in Scottsdale, Arizona, which was closed in May 2014. [4]

Surprise, Arizona City in Arizona, United States of America

Surprise is a city in Maricopa County, in the U.S. state of Arizona. The population was 30,848 at the 2000 census; however, rapid expansion has boosted the city's population to 117,517 at the 2010 census, an increase of 281%. As such, it is the second-fastest-expanding municipality in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area and, between 1990 and 2000, it was the sixth-fastest-expanding place among all cities and towns in Arizona. Census estimates in 2017 continue this accelerated growth pattern, with the population now estimated at 134,085.

Scottsdale, Arizona City in Arizona, United States

Scottsdale is a city in the eastern part of Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, part of the Greater Phoenix Area. Named Scottsdale in 1894 after its founder Winfield Scott, a retired U.S. Army chaplain, the city was incorporated in 1951 with a population of 2,000. The 2015 population of the city was estimated to be 236,839 according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The New York Times described downtown Scottsdale as "a desert version of Miami's South Beach" and as having "plenty of late night partying and a buzzing hotel scene." Its slogan is "The West's Most Western Town."


The Heard Museum was founded in 1929 by Dwight B. and Maie Bartlett Heard to house their personal collection of art. 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. [5]

Maie Bartlett Heard

Maie Bartlett Heard (1868–1951) was an Arizona-based collector and philanthropist, who cofounded of the Heard Museum of native American art.

Portions of the museum were designed by architect, Bennie Gonzales, who also designed Scottsdale City Hall. [6]

Bennie M. Gonzales FAIA was an American architect known for a distinctive style of Southwestern architecture which has since been widely copied. Gonzales designed most of Scottsdale, Arizona's, major municipal buildings including Scottsdale City Hall, the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts and the Civic Center Library. His resume also included hundreds of private homes and residences throughout Arizona.

Collection of Kachina dolls Kachina Dolls Heard Museum.jpg
Collection of Kachina dolls

From its start as a small museum in a small southwestern town, the Heard has grown in size and stature to where now it is recognized internationally for the quality of its collections, its educational programming and its 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:

Barry Goldwater Republican nominee for President, 1964; U.S. Senator from Arizona

Barry Morris Goldwater was an American politician, businessman and author who was a five-term Senator from Arizona and the Republican Party nominee for President of the United States in 1964. Despite his loss of the 1964 presidential election in a landslide, Goldwater is the politician most often credited with having sparked the resurgence of the American conservative political movement in the 1960s. He also had a substantial impact on the libertarian movement.

Native Americans in the United States Indigenous peoples of the United States (except Hawaii)

Native Americans, also known as American Indians, Indigenous Americans and other terms, are the indigenous peoples of the United States, except Hawaii. There are over 500 federally recognized tribes within the US, about half of which are associated with Indian reservations. The term "American Indian" excludes Native Hawaiians and some Alaska Natives, while Native Americans are American Indians, plus Alaska Natives of all ethnicities. Native Hawaiians are not counted as Native Americans by the US Census, instead being included in the Census grouping of "Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander".

The Heard Museum now attracts about 250,000 visitors a year. [8] The Heard is an affiliate in the Smithsonian Affiliations program. [9] The director of the museum from January 2010 through July 2012 was Dr. Letitia Chambers, the first Heard director to be of American Indian descent. [8] From August 5, 2013 to February 27, 2015, the museum was led by James Pepper Henry, a member of the Kaw Nation of Oklahoma and the Muscogee Creek Nation. [10] The museum is now led by David M. Roche, who began his tenure January, 2016. [11]

The museum is a member of the North American Reciprocal Museums program.


Participant in the 2005 World Championship Hoop Dance Contest. Hoop Dancer4.jpg
Participant in the 2005 World Championship Hoop Dance Contest.

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.

The Indian Fair and Market is held annually in March draws in 15,000 visitors and features over 600 Native American artists, [12] and includes a juried competition for the best artwork of the fair appropriately called "Best of Show." Approved artists compete in eight classifications: Jewelry and Lapidary Work; Pottery; Paintings, Drawings, Graphics, Photography; Wooden Carvings; Sculpture; Textiles/Weavings/Clothing; Diverse Art Forms; Baskets.

The judges of this competition come from a diverse range of occupations including experienced artists, museum curators, gallery directors, and art collectors. All have in-depth experience in judging artwork, and the majority of these judges come from American Indian tribes. Awards and cash prizes are given for Best of Show, Best of Division (first and second place), and an additional Conrad House award. The judges also confer a Judge's Choice ribbon and an Honorable Mention ribbon. [13]

See also

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  1. http://heard.org.Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. "Phoenix Points of Pride". Archived from the original on January 22, 2014. Retrieved October 18, 2006.
  3. By Niki D'Andrea (2009-08-04). "Heard Museum West Will Close By the End of 2009 | Phoenix New Times". Blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com. Retrieved 2017-06-25.
  4. Haller, Sonja. "Heard Museum North to close". Azcentral.com. Retrieved 2017-06-25.
  5. "The Heard Museum's rich history". Archived from the original on October 10, 2006. Retrieved July 31, 2006.
  6. Scarp, Mark (2008-12-04). "Gonzales left his creative imprint on Scottsdale". East Valley Tribune . Retrieved 2009-01-04.
  7. 36 Hours in Phoenix, By Randal Archibold, New York Times, November 30, 2008.
  8. 1 2 Tropiano, Dolores. "Heard Museum’s Letitia Chambers." Phoenix Magazine. Dec 2010 (retrieved 7 Sept 2011)
  9. "Heard Museum". Affiliate details. Smithsonian Affiliations. 2011. Retrieved 17 Jul 2011.
  10. "Heard Museum director James Pepper Henry resigns". Azcentral.com. 2015-01-06. Retrieved 2017-06-25.
  11. "Heard Museum names David M. Roche director". Azcentral.com. Retrieved 2017-06-25.
  12. "Indigenous Arts Market Returns to the BriscoeRivard Report". therivardreport.com. Retrieved 2017-03-26.
  13. "About the Fair." Heard Museum. (retrieved 7 Sept 2011)

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Coordinates: 33°28′24.75″N112°4′25.2984″W / 33.4735417°N 112.073694000°W / 33.4735417; -112.073694000