Tuesday, August 10, 2021

A Visit to the Heard Museum, Part One

Between the two of us, Denis and I have had one issue after another keeping us from doing anything other than visiting doctors. To say that we were sick and tired of it is a vast understatement. By the time the issues began to fade away into the distance, summer was well and truly upon us, and visits to favorite places like the Desert Botanical Garden or the Wildlife World Zoo were a bit too uncomfortable to contemplate. (Some of you may not be aware, but there are summer days/nights here in the Phoenix metro area when the temperature never gets below 100°F./38°C.)

No, we needed to get out and about to places where we could enjoy someone else's air conditioning, and it didn't take me long to think of somewhere that fit the bill: the Heard Museum, world-renowned for its collections of Native American art. It's continued to grow over the years that I've lived here, and there's always something new for me to see whenever I visit. Denis and I hadn't been there since we took our niece, Daisy, on her last visit, so we made the short drive over there in no time flat.

We saw so much and enjoyed ourselves so much that I'll be sharing photos in a series of posts. This first one is more generalized; future posts will focus on particular exhibits.

Let's get started!

One of the many statues outside the museum. I meant to take more photos, but that will have to wait until the weather cools off!

As you can see, the museum was built in the Spanish Mission style with interior courtyards.

The staircase in the Grand Gallery.


The Heard Museum has a traditional Navajo house, called a hogan. Denis and I were allowed inside one when we took an all-day tour of Monument Valley several years ago. We couldn't believe how snug and warm it was-- and how great it was to get out of the biting January wind!


There are so many exhibits and so much to see!

Another exhibit in the Heard Museum.

A reminder when leaving the museum that they have a wonderful gift shop on the premises. I really like that t-shirt, but I have a tendency to spend too much money in that gift shop, so we gave it a miss this time.

A sign of our times: handmade masks for the pandemic. The Navajo Nation in particular has been hard hit by COVID-19.

I left the file sizes large, so you should be able to read the card by the mask.

All the masks were made using traditional materials.

I fell in love with this art installation.

The artists for this are Tony Jojola, and Isleta and Rosemary Lonewolf of the Santa Clara Tewa tribe. It is called "Indigenous Evolution" and was created in 2004. From the card: 

"This art fence references the land of the Southwest and the organic fences built by Native people from materials such as adobe, ocotillo or saguaro cactus. The fence harmonizes colors of the Southwest in clay and glass. The fence begins with darker colors, and then continues with brighter colors representing land and sky."

"The fence speaks to the endurance of our culture. It's about going through boundaries, it symbolizes our persistent existence." --Tony Jojola

"This linear installation reminds visitors to leave stereotyped preconceptions behind and enter a world where indigenous people blend the past with the present and firmly establish a limitless future." --Rosemary Lonewolf

Detail. "Indigenous Evolution"

Detail. "Indigenous Evolution"

Detail. "Indigenous Evolution"

Detail. "Indigenous Evolution"

Detail. "Indigenous Evolution"

I hope you enjoyed this first post about the Heard Museum. In future posts, I'll be sharing some incredible craftsmanship and an exhibit on Indian boarding schools.

16 comments:

  1. This is absolutely stunning, Cathy! I'm so glad you and Denis had the chance to go; I can't imagine how beautiful it must all be in person. I love the richness and depth in the art. It's amazing how simple lines and colors can create such depth and beauty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The incredible artistry just knocks my socks off every time I go there. I wish I had the patience that so many of these works of art require!

      Delete
  2. If we are ever comfortable traveling again, I will make the Heard Museum a must see event. What wonderful masks and the art fence is enthralling!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And you ain't seen nothin' yet.

      I know what you mean about traveling. I don' think I'll ever be comfortable flying again, and now with COVID cases on the rampage again, I think I'd better think again about going somewhere unless it's to rent a cabin in a remote area just to stay there and enjoy nature. It's something we're done before and really enjoyed. We shall see.

      Delete
  3. Thanks so much for sharing so many photos, Cathy. I'm glad that you guys are getting out more now, and I hope you do feel much better. It's amazing how getting out of the house can make you feel so much better sometimes, too, both physically and mentally.

    I love the photos. My recent road trip has renewed my interest in Native American art and culture. We spent a couple of hours in the Plains Indian museum in Cody, Wy, and in the much smaller museum at the Crazy Horse monument a few days later. I'm not familiar with your museum, so I'm looking forward to more pictures as you post them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You'd love the Heard Museum, Sam. Denis and I are members now, and we're looking forward to being able to attend the annual hoop dancing championships there.

      I'd love to go back to Cody. My family had a Road Trip when I was ten, driving from central Illinois to Grass Valley, California. Outside Cody, a buffalo herd thundered up over the top of a hill, and I fell in love. I've held that memory close to my heart ever since.

      Delete
  4. Beautiful. I wish our museums were open. There is a ridiculous TV show coming out at the end of Sept called La Brea, about a large sink hole in Los Angeles. It has made him want to visit the La Brea Tar Pits but the museum itself has yet to open. He told me just wants to look at the bubbling tar. Uh, no.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Work sent me to LA to do some training, and I had a half day (out of a two-week stretch) for myself. La Brea is one of the places I considered, but I went to see the Queen Mary instead.

      Go to La Brea just to watch the tar? No, thank you!

      Delete
  5. Beautiful pictures, Cathy! Those masks truly are works of art. I'm looking forward to seeing more pictures when you post them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you enjoyed them, Gretchen. My favorites are yet to come.

      Delete
  6. Absolutedly lovely photos of a beautiful museum. I never knew of this museum until I read this post.

    The exhibits are beautiful.

    And, yes, I understand how you're spend a lot of money in the gift shop. I would, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They actually have two gift shops. One of them is a bookstore...

      Delete
    2. Really? Hide the credit cards then when you go there.

      Delete
    3. I couldn't agree with you more!

      Delete
  7. Thanks for sharing! Art news never seems to travel as far or fast as bad news, especially during a pandemic, so I was not aware of the masks - that's terrific! And therr are so many details on that fence that I bet you spent quite a bit of time looking at it. Oh, to be comfortable with the idea of traveling again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would certainly be nice to feel comfortable about traveling, but I haven't quite reached the point yet-- especially since COVID cases are spiking again.

      We may go back to the Heard next week, and I know that I'll be looking at that fence again.

      Delete

Thank you for taking the time to make a comment. I really appreciate it!