Group Visits & Tours
The museum offers daily public tours and gallery programs by Cultural Interpreters and Museum Ambassadors, along with daily film screenings. For information about daily tours, gallery programs, and screenings scheduled during your visit, consult the calendar or visit the Visitor Services desks in the Great Hall on the Second Floor.
Daily Public Tours
Building Tours (45 min.–1 hr.)
Join a Museum Ambassador for an in-depth look at the unique architecture and exquisite beauty of the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, home of the National Museum of the American Indian–New York. Designed by famed architect Cass Gilbert and completed in 1907, the Custom House is a National Historic Landmark. The building’s interior splendor includes an elliptical rotunda with a 140-ton dome skylight designed by Valencia-born engineer Raphael Gustavino and murals by New York painter Reginald Marsh, as well as monumental marble arches and columns. Tours include a visit to the Collectors Office, not normally accessible to the public. The Collectors Office features woodwork by Tiffany Studios and can be seen on Boardwalk Empire and in films like Spike Lee’s Inside Man.
Exhibition Tours (45 min.–1 hr.)
Ceramica de los Ancestros: Central America’s Past Revealed
Join a Museum Ambassador for a guided tour through the exhibition Ceramica de los Ancestros–Central America’s Past Revealed, featuring the exceptional artistry of approximately 155 objects made of clay, gold, jade, stone, and shell by people from Belize to Panama. This exhibition examines seven broad regions representing Central American cultural areas that are today part of Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Belize, and reflects the culmination of research on the vast collection of Central American ceramics of the NMAI, in collaboration with the Smithsonian’s Latino Center. Spanning a period from 2000 BC to the present, the ceramics in this show provide the visitor with fascinating details about the lives of the people in Central America from ancient times to the present day.
Glittering World: Navajo Jewelry of the Yazzie Family
Join a Museum Ambassador for an introduction to the story of Navajo jewelry through the lens of the gifted Yazzie family of Gallup, New Mexico. Featuring more than 300 contemporary jewelry examples, Glittering World encourages visitors to push their understanding beyond silver, turquoise, and squash blossom necklaces. The exhibition places Navajo jewelry making within its historical context of art and commerce, illustrates its development as a form of cultural expression, and explores the meanings behind its symbolism.
Infinity of Nations: Art and History in the Collections of the National Museum of the American Indian
Join a Museum Ambassador for a guided tour through the permanent exhibition Infinity of Nations. This exhibition presents works of art from throughout Native North, Central, and South America, with more than 700 works on display. The rich exposition of focal objects, including a magnificent Apsáalooke (Crow) warrior’s exploit robe, demonstrates the degree to which Native America was interconnected before European peoples arrived and how cultural exchange has profoundly shaped our shared histories.
Enhance your visit with a discussion with a Cultural Interpreter. Topics of discussion include beading, music makers, textiles, and Native games. Daily schedules are available at the Visitor Services desk, Second Floor.
School Group Tour Policies & Guidelines
School groups are required to have one adult chaperon for every ten students. Chaperons must supervise and remain with their groups at all times and in all areas, including the museum store. If a class is divided because of limited gallery space, a chaperon must accompany each group. Only ten students are allowed in the museum store at one time. The NMAI reserves the right to refuse or terminate a program that is inadequately supervised or that fails to conform to standards of good behavior. Additional information on school group reservations at the NMAI–NY is available under For Educators and Students/Visit NY.