Heard Museum Visit Essay

1021 words - 5 pages

Upon first walking up to the Heard Museum through the front gate, the first things that can be noticed are the architectural features of the Museum. To me the architecture appeared to be Italianate, but it was later uncovered in the tour to be Spanish Style. Though, both Spanish Style and Italianate architecture are nearly one and the same, as a matter of fact Spanish Style architecture is derived from the Italianate style with was brought to Spain by the Romans. Stepping back from purely architectural features, it can also be notice that within the landscaping of the front lawn there is a path which runs in the shape of a swirl. The center of that swirl where everything comes together ...view middle of the document...

The guide also said that all of the pieces that are on display are approved for display by the tribe that they come from, almost to avoid cultural insensitivities and miscommunications. Thus overall, the museum seems to be more oriented to the Non-native American visitor.
The guide for our tour was a Navajo man named Brandon, though there were four or five other volunteer guides that were at the museum as well. As Brandon took us around on the tour, he explained the items on display from more of a cultural and practical perspective rather than from just solely a historical perspective. Much of the information that the guide told us about the pieces came from his own knowledge, rather than from things that he is told by the museum to tell people about the pieces, giving people a more in-depth look at the significance of the piece. All of the guides seem to tell people about the exhibits in a manner that shows their excitement about showing these items to others.
Though the names of the three or four curators seem to escape me at this point in time, their names cannot be found by searching the museum website. The creation of this museum was in the 1920s by the Heard family to combat the stereotypes of native peoples. Today, this privately owned museum is funded by donations. Some of the donors to the museum include Native American tribes, the Heard family, as well as other private donors. As pieces are acquired in a similar manner to all museums, the pieces on display and in storage range in age from really old, to really new. So it could be said that many Native American communities still to this day continue to produce culturally significant works of art.
As far as other happenings at the museum go, there were different tours other than our own...

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