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.
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