Founded in 1928, the Museum of Northern Arizona has a nearly century-long history of protecting and preserving the natural and cultural heritage of northern Arizona through research, collections, conservation, and education. Over time, the museum has evolved into a regional center of learning about and interpretation of the Colorado Plateau.
The museum features a wide range of exhibitions, tours, and educational opportunities for the young and old. Current temporary exhibitions include “The Force Is With Our People (through May 25), a popular display of indigenous art inspired by the Star Wars saga, and “Searching for a Bigger Subject (through February 16), featuring the work of landscape painter Tony Foster and his spectacular juxtaposition of the greatest of all wild landscapes: the Grand Canyon and Mount Everest.
Note that educational opportunities aren’t limited to what you’ll find indoors. Just steps from the front door, a half-mile nature trail take visitors along a shallow canyon carved by the Rio de Flag. The museum campus also includes The Gardens, several living exhibitions where visitors can view and learn about plants that are native or well-suited to the Colorado Plateau.
Upcoming events at the museum include:
Blue Corn Girls: A Tewa Story – January 20, 2pm
Artist-in-residence Ed Kabotie will share both his tale of discovering recordings of his grandfather in an archive in Indiana, and the stories his grandfather was telling. This presentation, part of the Indigenous Insights series, will foster understanding for the importance of language preservation and storytelling within the Puebloan community.
Loud and Proud: Indigenous Identity and Heavy Metal Music – January 26, 2pm
This joint performance and presentation, featuring singer/songwriter Sage Bond and MNA Anthropology Collections Manager, Tony Thibodeau, will explore the impact of heavy metal music on contemporary Indigenous identity.
Tony Foster in Conversation – February 8, 11am
Artist and adventurer Tony Foster will discuss the thousands of miles he traveled into the wilderness by foot and boat to create the detailed watercolors for which he is famous – including those in his “Searching for a Bigger Subject” exhibit. After Foster talks about his adventures and artistic process, he will join MNA Fine Arts Curator Alan Petersen in the gallery for further discussions and questions.
Museum exhibit hours are Monday through Saturday 10am–5pm and Sunday 12–5 pm, with last admission 30 minutes before closing. Admission is free for children 9 and under. The museum is located two miles from downtown Flagstaff on Highway 180, at 3101 N. Fort Valley Road. For more details, visit the Museum of Northern Arizona website.