National Museum of the American Indian

National Museum of the American Indian, New York City: Address, Phone Number, National Museum of the American Indian Reviews: 4/5

National Museum of the American Indian

National Museum of the American Indian
4
About
The New York branch of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian serves as an exhibition and education facility in New York City. Exhibitions and public programs explore the diversity of the Native peoples of the Americas and the strength and continuity of their cultures from the earliest times to the present. Public programs present Native people from North, Central, and South America. Program participants share first-person accounts of their heritage and experiences. The museum is located on the first two floors of the historic Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House in lower Manhattan. The museum is open seven days a week. Admission is free.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: Downtown Manhattan (Downtown)
How to get there
  • Whitehall St – South Ferry • 1 min walk
  • Bowling Green • 2 min walk
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.0
788 reviews
Excellent
333
Very good
308
Average
104
Poor
32
Terrible
11

slychris43@gmail.com
Montpellier, France51 contributions
Dec 2019
It was pouring with rain so decided to visit the museum since it is just a five minute walk from the Staten Ferry dock and the "Bull" at Bowling Green. I agree that the security is a bit "robust" on entry and there is a lack of signage to cloakrooms , there aren't any, so visited with wet coats. I found the exhibition very static and although it covers the geographical location of the tribes in North America it did not identify sufficiently their differences in clothing or identity in habitat. I would have liked to see what variations in foods they existed on dependant on location or seasons. The museum entry was free and the staff were as helpful as possible but the museum was a little short on celebrating the race apart from the numbers names identified as playing their part in the service of the US such as the 20C wars.
Written January 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

wireless_in_CA
United States4,509 contributions
Mar 2022 • Family
This museum was located inside the old US Customs building in front of Battery Park. Admission was free.

Once inside security checked our bags and we were scanned through a metal detector.

The exhibits were located on the first floor and split into four sections.

As we entered the center of the museum an exhibit covered the American Indian’s participation in wars dating back to the revolutionary war through the present.

The next exhibit covered rooms of artwork by a Dakota painter Oscar Howe. He was prolific and produced fascinating works.

The main exhibit “Infinity of Nations” showcased hundreds out of the thousands of artifacts collected or purchased by the original founder of the museum, George Heyes. Cultures spanned across the United States and the Americas. Explanations were brief but gave much insights and showed how different each were.

The final exhibits explored the different Indian tribes that lived in New York.

Overall a very good Smithsonian museum.
Written March 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Blah
45 contributions
Mar 2022 • Solo
Have visited many times, always profoundly moving. Exquisite exhibit of Oscar Howe, not to be missed. Gift shop is better than Washington too, more one of a kind artists. I take the criticism about whether this museum should have these artifacts seriously and my impression is the curators understand this dilemma and address it responsibly. I would welcome other perspectives. As a wildlife veterinarian, I believe you can't protect and respect what you don't know. Perhaps the same is true with the Native experience, this is an opportunity to teach those who may not know or understand...
Written March 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

DetectivePikachu314
1 contribution
Jan 2020
The security staff working on the bottom floor around noon on 1/20/2020 were the rudest museum personel I've ever met. I asked if coats needed to come off and was told no, then when I beeped in the metal detector I was yelled at that of course I was suppose to have taken my coat off? I have no idea why they were so rude to me and other museum visitors.
The museum itself has a small but nice collection of art and artifacts, but doesn't take more than 30-45 minutes to get through. The building is lovely but underutilized. The rest of the building staff were not entirely welcoming, but no where near as antagonistic as the security entrance staff.
Overall, this museum is worth it only since it was free, but I wouldn't go out of my way to get here and see it.
Written January 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

catalin s
Craiova, Romania233 contributions
Aug 2021
A small museum compared to MoMA or MET. But very interesting and it's free to visit. It is dedicated to all Native Americans, from the Canadian North to Patagonia.
The first rooms show a display of modern art created by Native Americans. Then, on the next rooms, a quite large array of objects created and used in day by day life, structured on geographical region: Amazonas, Peru, Chile, Central America, Mexico, USA, and Canada. Objects from different ages, with different uses, even small pieces of art. When we visited, due to the Covid, only one wing was open to public
There are another 2 small exhibition: one in the entry Rotonda, depicting Native Americans participations to all the wars since late 19th century, the other one, at ground level, depicting a few contemporary art works.
Written August 24, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

GardenGal600
South Hadley, MA76 contributions
Mar 2020
This is a fabulous and FREE museum very convenient to Battery Park. Located in a historic ornate building, they have great exhibits on both the American Indian and the building itself. If you go, make sure to read the building history in the center of the 2nd level and LOOK UP. It is a fabulously wonderful museum. NOTE: the incoming security is airport-level – be prepared.
Written March 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

MRK
11 contributions
Jan 2020
This is a really great museum. Really impressive collection and the building itself has some great architectural details, especially the facade and interior staircases. The staff is friendly and very helpful. There is a hands-on room for kids from 1-100. Admission is free! The gift shop has a significant collection of books and art objects. Well worth a visit.
Written January 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

nbdraleigh61
Raleigh, NC127 contributions
Feb 2020
Museum of the American Indian is not on all the must-see lists for NYC, but we thoroughly enjoyed it!
A couple pleasant surprises were:
1. This is part of the National Smithsonian Museum, so it is free.
2. "American Indian" covers all Americas, not just North America. Vast historical collections
Written March 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Pam S
Adelaide, Australia324 contributions
Oct 2019
Came to the museum late on a cold wet day. We were aware it was late in the day, but the security staff were rude to us & told us we did not have long. The exhibits were magnificent & grouped in the different tribes & times. We shall revisit the museum next time we are in NY and have plenty of time to spend there.
Written February 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

NewYorkKaren
New York100 contributions
Jan 2020
This building is AMAZING. there are free tours given by volunteers which are so interesting. The building was scheduled to be demolished until Jackie Kennedy got involved and thank goodness she did. It was originally a custom house. The ceilings pillars painting etc are just works of art. Close walk to battery park. It is such a treat to have found
Written February 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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