Friday, June 28, 2013

Museum of the American Indian

Heading to the Museum of the American Indian in DC this afternoon, once my conference ends. I have been to its new location once before, about two years ago.

I visited the original museum space up in the Bronx many years ago (on my first trip to NYC back in the 80s in fact); the exhibits were incredibly dense displays, with little context. Several years ago, i went to the museum's new satellite space near Battery Park. It was a pale shadow of the museum's former glory, although at the time we were there they had a great exhibit on South American shamans and the hallucinogens they used.

The new museum site in DC is an incredible space - a fitting, spacious, and architecturally appropriate home for sharing the museum's collections and for people to actually learn and experience the history and current cultures of the native peoples of the Americas.

At least one of the current exhibits deal with ancient Central America - right up my alley given my current Xeno-Meso project. More to come after the visit.


  1. When I was 17, I visited NYC for the first time. It was also my first time in a city the size of New York. I stayed with relatives in Tenafly, NJ, then took the bus into Grand Central. After a subway ride and a six block walk to the museum, I found it. Great museum in a nondecript building that desperately needed more space. This was before it became a Smithsonian museum -- it was just the Heye Museum of the American Indian. Then I went on with my weekend adventure.

    When I returned to my hosts, they said that was Harlem. They also said it was a good thing it wasn't Spanish Harlem, because I might not have made it back.

    This was 1977.

  2. My first trip to NYC was back in 1986 or so. I stayed with an Ecuadorian friend in Washington Heights, a predominantly Dominican neighborhood at the height of the crack wars. It was such a welcoming community, and I really cherish the memories of that trip to this day!


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