The Herd Museum has been recognized internationally for the quality of its collections, educational programming, and festivals in their presentation, interpretation, and advancement of America Indian art. Founded in 1929 by Dwight and Maie Heard, the museum uses innovative programs, world-class exhibitions and unmatched festivals to set the standard nationally for collaborating with Native people to present first person voices and partners with native artists and tribal communities to provide museum visitors with a distinctive perspective about the art and cultures of Native people, with a focus on those from the Southwest.
Visitors are encouraged to try the hands on activities that can range from loom weaving with beads, creating wearable art, Apache burden baskets, and Yaqui paper flowers. Many school groups make regular visits to the museum for more in-depth understanding on cultures, art forms, and artists within the Dorrance Education Center.
Most of the museum’s activities revolve around collecting, preserving, and presenting art that ranges from ancestral artifacts to contemporary paintings and jewelry. Exhibitions lay the foundation for learning about the cultures and experience of the people, both past and present, who created the art. The Heard draws on these extensive collections to present a mixture of long term and changing galleries.
Several of the loveliest areas in the museum are actually outside, within the museum’s courtyards, combining the landscape, aquatic features, and sculptures to create relaxing environments. Large music and dance performances take place within the Scott L Libby Jr Amphitheater, while the Steele Auditorium provides flexible seating for a variety of performances, lectures, theater presentations, films, and private meetings and dinners.
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