New York in New York County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
George Gustav Heye
George Gustav Heye, founder in 1916 of the Museum of the American Indian and its director until 1956, was unique in both his enthusiasm and his broad interest in native life. His passion for collecting began in 1896, when he purchased an Apache deerskin shirt on a railroad construction job in Arizona. From then his energy and inherited fortune were spent accumulating the largest private collection of Native American objects in the world.
Heye liked nothing better than to descend personally upon an American Indian community, buying everything in sight. While others focused on highly significant objects, Heye wasn’t satisfied until he’d brought every last object and shipped everything back to New York. As one Native American is reported to have said, remembering a visit from the museum’s founder: “If we were left with our underwear we were lucky!”
That scope makes Heye’s collection uniquely valuable as a material record of those native communities. As Linda Poolaw, Delaware Grand Chief, says, “If Gustav Heye hadn’t collected those things back then, we would not have then today to look at.
Location. 40° 42.266′ N, 74° 0.833′ W. Marker is in New York, New York, in New York County. Marker is on State Street near Bowling Green. Touch for map. The marker is one of several in a bank to the right of the main entrance to the National Museum of the American Indian. Marker is in this post office area: New York NY 10004, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. American Merchant Marine (here, next to this marker); Sharing the Circle (here, next to this marker); Places of Exchange (here, next to this marker); “North America” sculpted by Daniel Chester French (here, next to this marker); The Marketplace (here, next to this marker); Drawn To The City (a few steps from this marker); Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House / National Museum of the American Indian (within shouting distance of this marker); ...to Manhattan (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New York.
More about this marker. The marker is one of several in a bank to the right of the main entrance to the National Museum of the American Indian.
Categories. • Anthropology • Arts, Letters, Music • Native Americans •
Credits. This page was last revised on April 10, 2019. This page originally submitted on March 20, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. This page has been viewed 78 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on March 20, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. 7. submitted on March 22, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.