albertgreenheath

Albert Green Heath Collection

The Heath Collection, acquired in 1955, forms the museum’s largest and most significant Native American ethnographic collection. An amateur anthropologist and avid collector and dealer of Native American objects, Heath recorded detailed information on the former owners and provenance of items in the collection, lending a level of significance that many other early Native American collections lack. Albert Green Heath was born in 1888 in Chicago. He traveled extensively throughout North America, buying, trading, and selling Native American objects. Heath was interested in preserving his collection for entertainment and educational purposes. When he died in 1953, his cousin Helen Friedmann, Beloit class of 1918, pushed for the collection to go to Beloit College. In 1955, despite interest from other museums, the family sold 2,635 objects to the Logan Museum of Anthropology for $9,000. In order to recoup the acquisition expense, the Logan Museum sold “duplicate” items, giving museums first priority. The sale was later opened to private collectors and the public. Of the full collection of 2,635 objects, 1,699 were sold and 936 became part of the Logan Museum’s permanent collection.

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