National Museum of the American Indian

The National Museum of the American Indian brings insight into the history and culture of major tribes throughout the Americas and the Caribbean

National Museum of the American Indian in New York
National Museum of the American Indian in New York cc licensed photo by Daniel Bonatto

Located in the US Customs House, the George Gustav Heye Center in New York is a branch of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian established to promote knowledge and understanding of indigenous people in the Western Hemisphere.

This museum, one of only a few in New York that offer free admission, opened in 1994 followed by two other locations: Suitland, Maryland and the National Mall in Washington DC. It was the first museum committed to the conservation of Native American culture.

The permanent collection held at the National Museum of the American Indian consists of over 800,000 items of historical and cultural significance for all major tribes and cultures throughout the Americas and the Caribbean. In addition to the artefacts on view, the museum houses an impressive audio-visual collection, including over 90,000 historical and contemporary archives including photographs, paper folios and recordings.

For an in-depth experience, visitors can plan to spend four hours viewing the museum galleries. Visitors can also take advantage of a number of public programs including gallery talks and Native American storytelling, dance exhibitions, musical performances, films, demonstrations and hands-on workshops.

It is also well worth the visit to the museum just to see the architectural details of the historic Customs House that houses the collection.

Nearby attractions include Battery Park, Staten Island Ferry, Skyscraper Museum, Financial District, Trinity Church, St. Paul's Chapel and the Brooklyn Bridge

Facts For Your Visit

Official Website: National Museum of the American Indian

Fee: No

Open Now

Regular Hours:

  • Monday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Tuesday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Wednesday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Thursday: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Friday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Saturday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sunday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Category: Museums

Address: 1 Bowling Grn
New York, NY 10004

Phone: (212) 514-3700

Reviews

Yelp Rating:
4 out of 5 4 Star Rating
Based on 162 Reviews.

See all reviews on Yelp

5 Star Rating First great thing about this museum was free, being part of the Smithsonian institution. The exhibits were very well arranged, with explanations matching... Read More

Chunjai K. Nov-25-2018

3 Star Rating Free museum right around where the Wall Street Bull is and just in front of the park where you board for the Statue of Liberty cruise. Very cool looking... Read More

Joseph G. Apr-14-2019

4 Star Rating A museum in New York and it's free! It doesn't have the prestige of the art museums, but this is a nice place. Many people are interested in native... Read More

Steve A. Oct-07-2018

Accommodations near National Museum of the American Indian:

Directions

Subway Line Nearest Station Walking Time
4 or 5Bowling Green1 minute
RWhitehall Street3 minutes
1South Ferry4 minutes
JBroad Street6 minutes
2 or 3Wall Street8 minutes

How to get to National Museum of the American Indian by Subway

Take the 4 or 5 train to Bowling Green which exits right in front of the museum or take the R train to Whitehall Street and follow it north to the museum on your left or take the 1 train to South Ferry, turn left onto State Street, then right onto Bowling Green or take the J train to Broad Street, follow it south to Beaver Street and go right to Bowling Green or take the 2 or 3 train to Wall Street, walk south along William Street then right (west) on Beaver Street to the museum.

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Photo Gallery

Video


Watch this video to get an idea of the wide range of exhibits that you will discover during a visit to the National Museum of the American Indian

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