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Amerind Foundation Museum

2100 North Amerind Road
Dragoon, Arizona

Phone: 520-586-3666 --

Statement of Purpose:

The Amerind Foundation, incorporated in 1937, aims to foster the understanding of the Native Peoples of the Americas.

Its philosophy embraces the belief that museums provide one of the primary means of preserving and interpreting the cultures of prehistoric, historic, and contemporary peoples. The Amerind pursues a policy of scientific research as the obvious means for increasing our knowledge of the cultures of the Americas.

Amerind firmly believes that the resultant findings (of scientific inquiry) should be widely disseminated to both the scholarly community and the general public through a variety of activities, displays, and publications.


to the Navajo Country, 1920's
Trips to the Navajo Country, 1920's

The Amerind is committed to interpreting this diversity in both the archaeological and ethnographic context to create a better understanding among peoples of contrasting cultural backgrounds.

Collections interpreting prehistoric, historic and contemporary Native American cultures; archeology of the American Southwest and northern Mexico; gallery of paintings and sculpture by Native and Anglo-American artists.

Highlights & Collections:

The Amerind Foundation Museum, is a private, nonprofit, archaeological and anthropological research facility and museum. Devoted to the study of Native Peoples of the American Southwest and Northern Mexico, the name "Amerind", a contraction of American Indian, illustrates the purpose of the museum.


Located in the rural and beautiful southeastern corner of Arizona, the research facility and Museum exists to educate and inform an interested public about American Indian prehistory and history. Exhibits highlight Native American material culture, art, crafts, and societal structure.


The Amerind Museum maintains one of the largest private collection in the United States. Supported entirely by its private endowment and donations the Amerind seeks no outside governmental funding. Collections are concentrated on the peoples of the prehistoric Southwest and Northern Mexico, but range from the Arctic to South America. With permanent holdings currently numbering in the tens of thousands of objects, the Amerind still continues to collect and preserve items of the past for the future

Exhibits & Special Events:

"Horned Toads and Buckboards: The Independent Vision of Silas and Bertha Claw, Navajo Potters" 
An exhibition of the pottery of Silas and Bertha Claw. Silas and Bertha Claw have developed their own unique style of pottery. Modeled figures depicting animals and plants, scenes from rural Navajo life, and the sprit world of Yeibichais decorate their clay vessels.

Ongoing exhibits:

"Images in Time"
"Images" refers to figurative (human, animal, and even plant motifs) expressions in the material culture of Native Americans.  "Time" includes objects from prehistoric, historic, and contemporary contexts.  The exhibition presents the richness of figurative design in such diverse media as textiles, organic fibers, clay, stone, wood, ivory, metal, beads, and paper.  Both the symbolic, prosaic, and commercial forces driving human creativity are explored.

"The Prehistoric Southwest"
Archaeological exhibits interpreting prehistoric Indian cultures of the Southwest and Northern Mexico.

"The Brush of Tradition"
An exhibit of traditional southwestern Native American watercolors including such notables as Harrison Begay, Fred Kabotie, Quincy Tahoma, Tonita Pena, and Allan Houser. The paintings in the exhibit represent some of the best known artists of the 1930-1950 period. Painters of this era developed a unique style which seperated them from other American artists and made significan contribution to broadening our concept of American art history.


Amerind Foundation to exhibit Gary Auerbach’s Native American Platinum Photographs


The Fulton-Hayden Memorial Art Gallery of the Amerind Foundation is pleased to announce an exhibition of platinum photographs by noted Tucson photographer Gary Auerbach.  The exhibition will open on Saturday, May 4, 2002, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., and run for a year.  The Amerind Foundation is located a mile east of Interstate 10 on Dragoon Road (Exit 318), an hour east of Tucson, between Benson and Willcox.

 Auerbach, whose work also appears in the Library of Congress in Washington and in several European museums, uses Southwest American Indians as the major focus of his work.  Using a 100-year-old printmaking process of platinum and palladium metal salts contact printed on watercolor paper, Auerbach’s style is reminiscent of the classical photographs of turn-of-the century large format masters.

At a time when high speed digital imagery is taking over the world of photography, Auerbach reverses the modern trend and turns to the classical realm of the large format camera and handmade platinum photographic papers.  Using the quality of chiaroscuro, or contours modeled by light and dark values, the unique patinas and three-dimensional qualities of Auerbach’s photographs create images that fall somewhere between the charcoal sketch and the photographic palette.  Auerbach has also developed the first autostereoscopic multidimensional platinotype in the history of photography, and an example of this method will be on exhibit in the Amerind show.

In its 65th year as an anthropological research institution, museum, and art gallery, the Amerind Foundation has worked closely with the artist to assemble a superb collection of Native American portraits for the show.   Representative images include Navajo, Apache, Tohono O’odham, Arapaho, Assiniboin, and Taos peoples.  Maricia Battle, curator in the prints and photographs division at the U. S. Library of Congress, will present a gallery talk during the opening night reception on May 4th.


Fall, Winter, and Spring hours: Summer hours: The Amerind is closed for all major holidays.

Tours and groups should phone ahead to coordinate arrival times with the Museum staff (520-586-3666).

Admission & Directions:

The Amerind Museum is located in the southeastern corner of Arizona, just off of Interstate 10.

From Tucson the Amerind is approximately 60 miles (an hour's drive) east. From Phoenix it is about a three hour drive.

The Foundation offices and Museum are located near Interstate 10 in Texas Canyon between Benson and Willcox. Take the Dragoon Road exit (318) and proceed east one mile to the Amerind Foundation turnoff. Turn left at the entrance sign and proceed to the museum.

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