George Gustav Heye Center

The George Gustav Heye Center,
National Museum of the American Indian
Location in Manhattan
Established 1922
Location 1 Bowling Green, Manhattan, New York, United States
Coordinates 40°42′15″N 74°00′50″W / 40.704294°N 74.013773°W / 40.704294; -74.013773
Director Kevin Gover
Public transit access New York City Bus: M5, M9, M15, M15 SBS, M20
New York City Subway:  trains at Bowling Green or  trains at South Ferry – Whitehall Street
Website George Gustav Heye Center

The George Gustav Heye Center is a branch of the National Museum of the American Indian in Manhattan, New York City.[1] The museum is part of the Smithsonian Institution. The Center features contemporary and historical exhibits of art and artifacts by and about Native Americans.


The center is named for George Gustav Heye, who began collecting Native American artifacts in 1903 and opened the Museum of the American Indian on Audubon Terrace in upper Manhattan in 1922. That museum closed in 1994 and part of the collection is now housed at the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House on Bowling Green in Lower Manhattan. The Beaux Arts-style building, designed by architect Cass Gilbert, was completed in 1907. It is a designated National Historic Landmark and a New York City landmark. The center’s exhibition and public access areas total about 20,000 square feet (1,900 m2). The Heye Center offers a range of exhibitions, film and video screenings, school group programs and living culture presentations throughout the year.


The permanent collection of the Heye Center is called Infinity of Nations, and is designed to show the scope of the Smithsonian's collection. Organized by geographic regions (including Central and South America), the exhibit displays over 700 items and crosses the line from ethnology to art.[2][3] Multimedia interactions include audio and video, and feature commentary by historians on specific objects. The rotunda is frequently used as a performance space, and features murals reflecting the history of the building, done by Reginald Marsh. Other galleries include the Photography Gallery, Special Exhibit Galleries, Contemporary Galleries, the Haudenosaunee Discovery Room, the Resource Center Reference Library, a small theater (which screens daily films), and the museum store. The ground floor of the building houses the Diker Pavilion for Native Arts and Culture and the Education Center (referred to as the Tipi Room).

Past exhibits

See also


  1. "National Museum of the American Indian". Retrieved April 26, 2011. External link in |publisher= (help)
  2. Cotter, Holland (November 5, 2010). "Grace and Culture Intertwined". New York Times. Retrieved May 23, 2012.
  3. "Infinity of Nations". National Museum of the American Indian. Retrieved May 7, 2015.
  4. 4Directions (2000). "A Virtual Tour of the National Museum of the American Indian Exhibitions Creation's Journey and All Roads Are Good". Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved May 24, 2012.
  5. Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. "Weedon Island Virtual Tour". Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved May 24, 2012.
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