The mission of the Museum of Northern Arizona
is to inspire a sense of love and responsibility for the beauty and diversity of the Colorado Plateau through collecting, studying, interpreting, and preserving the region’s natural and cultural heritage.
The Museum reaffirms the core tenets of the mission established by the founders in 1928:
Research – “to increase knowledge of science and art”
Collections – “to collect and preserve objects of art and scientific interest”
Education – “to diffuse knowledge and appreciation of science and art”
Conservation – “to preserve and protect the region’s historic and prehistoric sites, works of art, scenic places, [plants], and wildlife from needless destruction”
Place – “to maintain a museum in the city of Flagstaff that provides facilities for research and aesthetic enjoyment”
Founded in 1928 as a community effort by a group of Flagstaff citizens, <a href=”http://musnaz.org/”>the Museum of Northern Arizona</a> (MNAz) is a private, nonprofit institution that was originally established as a repository for Native American artifacts and natural history specimens from the Colorado Plateau. The original founders, zoologist Dr. Harold S. Colton and artist Mary-Russell Ferrell Colton, who were originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, were dedicated to preserving the history and cultures of northern Arizona.
From its humble beginnings in Flagstaff, MNAz has evolved into a regional center of learning with collections, exhibits, educational programs, publications, and research projects that serve thousands of people each year. As the only accredited museum within 150 miles of Flagstaff, the Museum of Northern Arizona plays a vital role as interpreter of the Colorado Plateau.
The 200 acre museum campus includes the Museum exhibit building and repositories for more than five million Native American artifacts, natural science specimens, and fine art pieces. The Easton Collection Center, dedicated in 2009, is a 17,000 square foot LEED Platinum building dedicated to housing collection objects in the best possible environment for preservation. Many of the Museum’s 40+ buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
MNAz’s logo is an adaptation of a Hopi design from a Nampeyo pottery jar purchased by Dr and Mrs. Colton. Dr. Colton sketched a simplified design from a jar, which had been created by the legendary potter Nampeyo.