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National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution - George Gustav Heye Center



1 Bowling Green, Manhattan.


Get map & directions.


Open daily, 10am-5pm; Thursday, 10am-8pm.


The entire building is wheelchair accessible.


National Museum of the American Indian, 212-514-3700.


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National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution - George Gustav Heye Center

A museum about the history and culture of the native peoples of the Americas

A branch of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, the George Gustav Heye Center located in the heart of historic Lower Manhattan is a tribute to the art and culture of the native peoples of the Americas. The institution's goal is to work with native peoples to protect and develop their culture. Housed in the Beaux Arts Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, the Center offers free admission to visitors year round and its frequently updated permanent and temporary exhibits makes it a wonderful destination for all ages.

The Gustav Heye Center's extensive collection contains thousands of masterworks from across America including the Northwest Coast, North American Plains, and Great Lakes. Wood and stone carvings; exquisite clothing, feather bonnets and hides; pottery, weavings and basketry; display the artistry and diversity of native peoples. Many of the pieces on display also have spiritual significance; these funerary, religious and ceremonial objects are presented with the approval of the appropriate tribes. Although many local tribes are featured, the museum's collection also includes a substantial array of materials from the Caribbean, Mexico, Central, and South America. In addition to exhibits, the museum offers a busy schedule of dance and music programs that celebrate Native American culture. See the calendar of special events.

Manhattan Island has a rich history of Native American culture. In fact, Mannahatta was home to the Lenni-Lenape who farmed and hunted along the fertile shores of the Mohicanituk—or Hudson River. A point of interest directly across from the Center is Bowling Green Park, which is the oldest public park in New York City. Once a "bowling green" for British soldiers, the American Revolution gathered momentum here when patriots toppled a statue of King George that once stood where the grand fountain sits today. The fence surrounding the park is the original from that period.

Things to Do

Events & Activities

See museum calendar of events and exhibits.