A Visit to the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona
Arizona is home to 21 different Native nations, and the Heard Museum is a wonderful place to look back many hundreds of years to gain an understanding of their heritage, as well as gaining a glimpse into their cultures today through the eyes of their artists.
The museum’s signature exhibit is Home: Native People in the Southwest. This exhibit features nearly 2,000 pieces including jewelry, pottery, baskets, 500 Hopi katsina dolls, a 30-foot stunning glass and clay art fence, a full size Navajo hogan, a Hopi piki room, and a Yaquri ramada and Pueblo oven.
There are many more ongoing exhibits, but you will not want to miss Remembering our Indian School Day: The Boarding School Experience. Few people realize that American Indians were forced by the federal government to attend residential boarding schools located hundreds of miles from home. This powerful exhibit immerses visitors into the story, which draws on first-person recollections, memorabilia and the writings and art of four generations of Indian School alumni. You may need a hankie for this one.
You also will not want to miss their newest exhibit: Pop!
I could babble on for days about this place, but why not just visit their website, find what interests you, and put a day in your calendar to visit?
We recommend that you arrive at 10:00, enjoy one of their many docent lead tours, have lunch in their cafe, and then spend another 3-4 hours in a few more exhibits of your choice.
Make sure to leave time for their wonderful bookstore, and if you are a collector of art, their Berlin Gallery is the premier retail destination for contemporary American Indian art and currently represents 20 artists.