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The Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundataion in New York was built up by collector George Gustav Heye (1874–1957. He began collecting in 1897 and by 1903 he was buying archaelogical items such as large archaeological collections and documentary photographs. He sponsored expeditions and funded important excavations in Mexico and Ecuador in 1906. By 1916 his collection totalled 58,000 objects. He was offered a building site in a new complex of cultural organisations at 155th and Broadway in New York. The Museum of the American Indian was built with the support of his wealthy friends. He signed a 1916 trust agreement and transfered his entire collection to the museum and so was named Director for Life. The museum officially opened in 1922 after being delayed by the onset of the First World War. After the opening Heye contined to collect and by 1926 had filled the museum building and built a storage facility in the Bronx. He lost two major benefactors in 1928 and so after the Depression he focused his collecting on individual items. By his death in 1957 he had collected approximately 700,000 items. The museum had two further directors, Frederick J. Dockstader from 1960 - 1975 and Rolan Force whose directorship was plagued with court-ordered inventories and financial struggles due to earlier deaccessions and collection sales by Dockstader in his attempt to refine the collections. In 1989 the musuem was transfered to the Smithsonian Institution as the newly created National Museum of the American Indian.


1916, New York City, New York (state), United States of America, North America, Americas  —  1989