The mission of the Heard Museum of Native Cultures and Art is to educate the public about the heritage and living cultures and arts of Native peoples, with an emphasis on the peoples of the Southwest.
Since its founding by Dwight and Maie Bartlett Heard in 1929 - 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 - and Phoenix has grown along with it. The Heard is a living museum - giving voice to a uniquely American people.
1929 - 1950
The Heard Museum opened with little fanfare in June 1929, several months after Dwight Heard died of a heart attack. Maie Heard acted as museum director, curator, custodian, lecturer and guide for more than 20 years.
1951 - 1970
The Heard Museum underwent significant growth upon Maie Heard's death in 1951. In 1956, the Heard Museum Auxiliary was established to assist with educational programs. Today, the Heard Museum Guild numbers nearly 700. In 1958, the volunteers launched two aggressive fundraising projects; a museum Shop and a Fair. Both activities continue with great success today, thanks to the continuing support of Guild members who work in the shop and plan the Indian Fair & Market, which today draws nearly 18,000 people. The Jacobson Gallery of Indian Art was added to the museum during the next big expansion in 1968 and '69, which nearly doubled the original building.
The Heard Museum experienced another significant expansion in 1983, when it nearly doubled in size again to 78,000 square feet. In February 1999, the Heard Museum added 50,000 square feet. The expansion added several new structures including an expanded Museum Shop & Bookstore, Steele Auditorium, Dorrance Education Center, Arcadia Farms at the Heard Café, an artist studio and the Nina Mason Pulliam Pavilion. Also added were a Library and Archives, administrative space, collections storage facilities and exhibit preparation areas. The expansion also added three exhibit galleries, bringing the number of galleries at the Heard to 10.
2000 - Today
The long-awaited, $7.6 million, 21,000 square foot renovation of its permanent collection galleries culminated in the opening of HOME: Native People in the Southwest. The addition of the Berlin Gallery and Heard Museum West in Surprise and the June 2007 relocation of Heard Museum North to the Summit in Scottsdale, mark the beginning of a whole new era for the Heard, setting a new standard of excellence for the 21st century.
Your donations help:
Your greatly appreciated donations will be used to help fund educational programming, artist demonstrations, events and volunteer programs.
There are many ways you can get involved.
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