|Type||Private, not-for-profit museum|
|Accreditation||American Alliance of Museums|
|Key holdings||American Indian art|
|Collection size||40,000 items|
|Visitors||250,000 visitors a year|
|Founder||Dwight B. and Maie Bartlett Heard|
|Director||David M. Roche|
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.
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."The main Phoenix location of the Heard Museum has been designated as a Phoenix Point of Pride.
The museum formerly operated the Heard Museum West branch in Surprise which was closed in 2009.The museum also formerly operated the Heard Museum North Scottsdale branch in Scottsdale, Arizona, which was closed in May 2014.
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.
Portions of the museum were designed by architect Bennie Gonzales, who also designed Scottsdale City Hall.
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:
The Heard Museum now attracts about 250,000 visitors a year.The Heard is an affiliate in the Smithsonian Affiliations program. 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. 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. The museum is now led by David M. Roche, who began his tenure January, 2016.
The museum is a member of the North American Reciprocal Museums program.
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,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.
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 2018 population of the city was estimated to be 255,310 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."
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Ryan Singer is a Navajo contemporary painter living in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is of the Tódich’íinii clan, born for Kinyaa’áani. Singer is known for his vibrant Pop Art-inspired takes on Native American and mainstream culture.
As far back as I can remember I have always loved art—drawing, painting, making music. What I like most about it is the freedom to create something—anything—from nothing. – Ryan Singer, 2009
Mall museums are a new development resulting from the 2007–2010 global recession, where museums take over large spaces within shopping malls, making beneficial use of the space and leveraging the foot traffic of the malls to bring more people into museums, exhibits and other educational venues. The trend has been instituted in countries around the globe, including Iran, Turkey, Spain and the United States.
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Lloyd Kiva New was a pioneer of modern Native American fashion design and one of the co-founders of the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
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Jane McCarty Mauldin was a Choctaw artist, who simultaneously worked in commercial and fine art exhibiting from 1963 through 1997. Over the course of her career, she won more than 100 awards for her works and was designated as a "Master Artist" by the Five Civilized Tribes Museum in Muskogee, Oklahoma. She has works in the permanent collections of the Heard Museum, the Heritage Center of the Red Cloud Indian School and the collections of the Department of the Interior, as well as various private collections.
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The 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic was confirmed to have reached the U.S. state of Arizona in January 2020.