Last updated: 3/4/2012
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Street Address
704 Camino Lejo
Santa Fe, NM 87502
Mailing Address
P. O. Box 5153
Santa Fe, NM 87502
phone: 800-607-4636
e-mail: info@wheelwright.org
web: www.wheelwright.org
Hours
Monday - Saturday10 AM - 5 PM
Sunday1 PM - 5 PM
Closed New Year's Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.
Admissions
Free. Donations Accepted.
Services
Gift Shop
Online Gift Shop
Group Tours
Staff
Description

Celebrating over 70 years as New Mexico’s oldest, independent, non-profit museum!

The Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian hosts changing exhibitions of contemporary and historic Native American art with an emphasis on the Southwest.

The non-profit Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian hosts changing exhibitions of contemporary and historic Native American art with an emphasis on the Southwest. Downstairs: Case Trading Post, which recreates the atmosphere of an early 20th century trading post just outside a reservation.

Mission

An Evolving Mission

In the 1960s and 1970s the Navajo Nation exerted its independence through a number of sweeping changes, including the establishment of its own community college system. Also at that time Navajo singers founded the Navajo Medicine Men’s Association. The teachings of traditional Navajo religion enjoyed a revival, and its practitioners began to express their concerns about the teaching of Navajo religion by anyone other than Navajos. In 1977 the museum’s board of trustees acknowledged the wisdom and authority of the Navajo Medicine Man’s Association by voting to repatriate several Navajo medicine bundles and other items to the Navajo people, who now maintain them at the Ned A. Hatathli Cultural Center Museum at Navajo Community College, Tsaile, Arizona.

With the repatriation of 1977, the museum changed its name to the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian. Although it is no longer actively involved in the study of Navajo religion, it maintains growing, world-renowned collections that document Navajo art and culture from 1850 to the present. It also presents changing exhibitions on traditional and contemporary Navajo and other Native American arts.

History

The Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian was founded in 1937 by Mary Cabot Wheelwright. Born into a wealthy Boston family, Wheelwright traveled widely and had a lifelong interest in the study of religions. Her collaborator in the establishment of the museum was Hastiin Klah, an esteemed and influential Navajo singer, or ?medicine man.? Klah was born in 1867, when most of Navajo people were held as prisoners of war by the United States government.

In the 1960s and 1970s the Navajo Nation exerted its independence through a number of sweeping changes, including the establishment of its own community college system. Also at that time Navajo singers founded the Navajo Medicine Men?s Association. The teachings of traditional Navajo religion enjoyed a revival, and its practitioners began to express their concerns about the teaching of Navajo religion by anyone other than Navajos. In 1977 the museum?s board of trustees acknowledged the wisdom and authority of the Navajo Medicine Man?s Association by voting to repatriate several Navajo medicine bundles and other items to the Navajo people, who now maintain them at the Ned A. Hatathli Cultural Center Museum at Navajo Community College, Tsaile, Arizona.

With the repatriation of 1977, the museum changed its name to the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian. Although it is no longer actively involved in the study of Navajo religion, it maintains growing, world-renowned collections that document Navajo art and culture from 1850 to the present. It also presents changing exhibitions on traditional and contemporary Navajo and other Native American arts.

Educational Programs

WEEKLY EVENT: Looking at Indian Art

Come enjoy a lively and informative introduction to Southwest Indian art. A variety of topics will be covered each week, including: Basic Techniques of Indian Jewelry, How to Identify Various Pottery Styles, Meanings Behind Designs and Symbols, How to Discover Emerging Talent, Navajo Rugs, Folk Art, Baskets, Sandpaintings, Fetishes, and Katsinas, and Tips for Buying Indian Art. For additional information, contact Robb Lucas at 505-982-4636 x110 or send an email to casetradingpost@wheelwright.org. Free admission.

Publications

Published in conjunction with major exhibitions, Wheelwright Museum catalogs offer exquisite imagery and compelling essays by leading scholars. Based upon original research, books on historic subjects illuminate little-known traditions and shed new light on familiar art forms. Catalogs on living artists are derived from interviews with Wheelwright staff. To order, or to request a complete list of available publications, contact the Case Trading Post at casetradingpost@wheelwright.org or call 1-800-607-4636 ext. 110.

ADA

Wheelchair Accessible

Services

WEEKLY EVENT: Docent Tours

Come enjoy a guided tour of our current exhibition. Every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday at 2:00 p.m. Free admission. Donations encouraged.

Case Trading Post

Case Trading Post is the museum gift shop. Jewelry, pottery, kachinas, baskets, rugs and other Native American art and crafts by both contemporary and historic artists and artisans are for sale, with revenue shared directly with the artists. Books, toys, postcards and other sundries are also available. You can also shop online at http://www.casetradingpost.com

Gift Shop

Online Gift Shop

Group Tours

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THANK YOU 2021 SPONSORS!
Oakland Park, Florida

We are a design and fabrication shop that encourages play in museums, organizations and brands so they may spread the roots of their mission. Play is a powerful tool because it tests assumptions, makes connections and establishes a positive emotional memory to concepts. Incorporating play (interactives) in your project can actually boost diversity, loyalty and engagement which will ultimately strengthen your mission.

MUSEUM CONFERENCES
Wednesday, September 1 - Thursday, September 30, 2021 — Virtual
CANCELLED: Florida Association of Museums 2021 Annual Conference
Monday, September 20 - Sunday, September 26, 2021 — Virtual
American Craft Council (ACC) Atlanta Southeast Craft Week
Wednesday, September 22 - Saturday, September 25, 2021 — Virtual
American Association for State and Local History/AMA 2021 Annual Meeting
Friday, October 1 - Sunday, October 31, 2021 — Virtual
Arriving this October: The Western Museum Association Roadshow!
Wednesday, October 6 - Friday, October 8, 2021 — Virginia City, Nevada
Nevada Museum Association 2021 Annual Conference
Virginia City, Nevada
Monday, November 29 - Wednesday, December 1, 2021 — Washington, District of Columbia
2021 International Conference of Indigenous Archives, Libraries, and Museums
Washington, District of Columbia
Sunday, March 6 - Thursday, March 10, 2022 — St. Louis, Missouri
2022 Public Land Alliance Convention and Trade Show
St. Louis, Missouri