Best Museum Phoenix 2012 - Heard Museum
Since it opened in 1929, the Heard Museum has been a wealth of Native American history, stories, and artwork that have shaped this city and community. Here, you can find century-old Katsina dolls and archives of traditional baskets, as well as small- and large-scale paintings, sculptures, jewelry, and clothing created by members of Native tribes throughout the country. If your taste is more contemporary, check out the museum's Berlin Gallery, where you can see (and purchase on the spot!) work by local and national artists who often stop in for lectures and meet-and-greets. This year, the museum's director packed her bags for New Mexico, leaving the future — and legacy — of the museum in the hands of its board, which is now in the middle of a search to find a leader who respects the museum's past while pushing the boundaries of Native art in contemporary culture. Sounds like a tall order to us; we hope it's filled wisely.