Current Archives | Heard Museum
ADVANCING AMERICAN INDIAN ART

Leon Polk Smith: Hiding in Plain Sight

February 5, 2021 On display through May 31, 2021 Leon Polk Smith, one of the most significant American artists of the 20th century, has been studied and celebrated through major exhibitions, publications, and scholarship over many years—and yet, a significant source of inspiration and influence on his artistic production remains largely unexplored. This original exhibition takes visitors on a visual journey that starts in Oklahoma Territory, where Smith was born and raised surrounded by Indigenous people and culture, to New York City where he would become a founding icon of mid-century modern art.
Curated by Joe Baker (Delaware) and Diana Pardue, Hiding in Plain Sight pairs outstanding examples of late 19th and early 20th-century works of Indigenous art from Oklahoma Territory, including beadwork, hide painting, and ribbon applique, with Smith’s paintings. Featuring more than 40 works spanning seven decades of his legendary career, highlights include masterworks from his Constellation series. In the words of Leon Polk Smith, “I grew up in the Southwest, where the colors in nature were pure and rampant, and where my Indian neighbors and relatives used color to vibrate and shock.”

Sponsors

Lead Support

Henry Luce Foundation Logo
The catalogue for this exhibition is made possible through the generous support of the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Art Foundation. Thoma Foundation logo
Leon Polk Smith Foundation

Major Supporters

Sharron Lewis Mrs. Dennis Lyon Betty Van Denburgh David and Joann Van Denburgh, in honor of Betty Van Denburgh Elizabeth Van Denburgh, in honor of Betty Van Denburgh The Virginia M. Ullman Foundation

Supporters

Adelante Foundation/established by Nadine and Eddie Basha Anonymous Arizona Public Service John L. and Hope L. Furth Mary Ellen and Robert H. McKee Janet and John Melamed SRP

Additional Support

Robert Lehman Foundation Arizona Commission on the Arts Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture

And the patrons and supporters of the Grand Gallery Fund


Changing Exhibits

All at Once: The Gift of Navajo Weaving

Through September 26, 2021

All at Once: The Gift of Navajo Weaving showcases 46 exquisite textiles from contemporary Navajo weavers. All at Once has been made possible by the generous donation of longtime Heard Museum members and supporters, Mark and Julie Dalrymple. These textiles, plus dozens more, now reside in the Heard Museum’s permanent collection. Artist statements from leading ...

Leon Polk Smith: Hiding in Plain Sight

Through May 31, 2021

February 5, 2021 On display through May 31, 2021 Leon Polk Smith, one of the most significant American artists of the 20th century, has been studied and celebrated through major exhibitions, publications, and scholarship over many years—and yet, a significant source of inspiration and influence on his artistic production remains largely unexplored. This original exhibition ...

Through the Lens of Barry Goldwater

Through May 2, 2021

This exhibition features prints made from Arizona Senator Barry M. Goldwater’s spectacular color slide collection, which in 1993 was generously donated to the Heard Museum by Senator Goldwater. This extraordinary and rare collection comprises nearly 1000 color slides and contains some of the earliest color landscape photographs of the Navajo and Hopi tribal lands, the ...


Signature Exhibits

Away from Home: American Indian Boarding School Stories

Away From Home: American Indian Boarding School Stories is the updated installation of the long-running Boarding School exhibition at the Heard Museum. Since opening in 2000, Remembering Our Indian School Days: The Boarding School Experience has become the Heard Museum’s most thematically powerful exhibition. Over the past two decades, interest in American Indian boarding schools ...

HOME: Native People in the Southwest

Learn about the Native peoples of the Southwest and hear them tell their stories in their own words. In addition to cultural objects, the exhibit showcases the traditions of Native peoples of the past and present and examines their definition of home. Don't miss the Navajo hogan, the Pueblo horno or the 400 katsina dolls on display!


Ongoing Exhibits

American Indian Veterans National Memorial

Service and sacrifice spanning more than three centuries are honored in the first and only known national memorial to American Indian veterans of many conflicts. The Memorial, located outside the Collector’s Room of the Heard Museum Shop, consists of several sizable sculptures by acclaimed Native artists Chiricahua Apache sculptor Allan Houser (1914-1994) and Michael Naranjo ...

Around the World: The Heard Museum Collection

Tour the global span of the Heard Museum’s permanent collection. This exhibit focuses on more than 75 years of collecting and preserving Native art and cultures in the Southwest and beyond. Starting with examples of work collected by museum founders Dwight and Maie Heard, and including donations by artists and collectors such as Byron Harvey and Richard Faletti, the exhibit features objects and artwork from indigenous ...

physical/digital: representations of the body from the permanent collection

physical/digital: representations of the body from the permanent collection is a digital exhibition taking place in a virtual environment. During this time of remoteness, social distancing and isolation, our corporeal relationship to the world, and to one another, is much altered. This exhibition seeks to look at the ways in which artists from the 20th ...

Grand Procession: Contemporary Plains Indian Dolls from the Charles and Valerie Diker Collection

Buy Tickets Become a member Grand Procession celebrates an exceptional collection of dolls, also known as soft sculptures, created by Jamie Okuma (Luiseño and Shoshone-Bannock), Rhonda Holy Bear (Cheyenne River Sioux and Lakota) and three generations of Growing Thunder family members; Joyce Growing Thunder, Juanita Growing Thunder Fogarty and Jessa Rae Growing Thunder (Assiniboine and ...

Behind the Mask: Indigenous Artists Speak Out

Artists across the globe are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in creative ways, through music, poetry, performance and a variety of art forms. The face masks worn to prevent spread of the virus present a blank canvas for artists seeking to bring attention to the devastating effects the virus has had on Indigenous nations and ...

Sonnet of Lament: Chip Thomas and Esther Belin

This collaborative work between Chip Thomas and Esther Belin recounts the effects that the COVID-19 global health crisis has had on Indigenous communities and the ways in which it has illuminated the status and lived reality that Indigenous peoples face. The work itself is arresting in its visuality and layered in its composition. An unidentified ...

Highlights from the Collection

Signature works from the permanent collection— Hopi katsina dolls, classic Pueblo pottery, Navajo textiles, jewelry and more—will commemorate the milestones, people, and events that have made the Heard Museum the American treasure and must-see destination it is today. This exhibition will receive regular updates to provide a continuing showcase of works from the permanent collection.

The Third Dimension: Sculptural Stories in Stone and Bronze

Some of the most exciting and moving American Indian fine art of the 20th and 21st centuries has been created by sculptors. The Heard Museum is fortunate recently to have been given works by leading American Indian sculptors such as Allan Houser and John Hoover Gifts also include sculpture by the next generation of accomplished ...