Clio Logo

George Gustav Heye founded The Museum of American Indians. This Museum, located in New York City, is a friendly environment where visitors are treated to a spectacular view of the creativity and ingenuity of Native Americans through the arts and crafts that are on display, simulated computer games, and dances.

  •  Native American Indian Museum in New York City.
  • The outfits were worn by Native American Indians.
  • Native American Indian Kayak structure
  • The Hall of Plain Indians

George Gustav Heye, born in 1874, was New Yorker who quit his Wall Street job to indulge in his passion for American Indian art and crafts. Over the years, he collected 800.000 pieces throughout the Americas, one of the largest collections compiled by a single person. In 1897, his initial collections were in the state of Arizona. Heye traveled extensively and acquired numerous pieces throughout his travels.

Heye hired an anthropologist to conduct several expeditions to Native American ancestral burial sites. In 1916, he established the Museum of American Indians- Heye foundation. In was officially opened to the public in 1922 in upper Manhattan. According to the New York Times, the museum was dedicated to ‘’unveiling the mystery of the origin of the red man…”

In 1957, Heye died, however, he left behind a single collection which was transferred in 1989 to the Smithsonian Institution which became a part of the National Museum of American Indians.

In October 1994, The George Gustav Heye Center of the National Museum of the American Indian was reopened at the historic Alexander Hamilton US Customs House in lower Manhattan. The Museum is easily accessible. Permanent and temporary exhibits, as well as a range of programs, are held on a regular basis which helps to educate visitors on the history and rich culture of Native Americans.


"The National Museum of the American Indian Relies on You." California/Great Basin | Infinity of Nations: Art and History in the Collections of the National Museum of the American Indian - George Gustav Heye Center, New York. Accessed November 29, 2018.

"National Museum of the American Indian." Wikipedia. November 19, 2018. Accessed November 29, 2018.

"National Museum of the American Indian (Washington DC) - 2018 All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)." TripAdvisor. Accessed November 29, 2018.

The National Museum of the American Indian. Accessed November 29, 2018.