The cultural collections began to form as early as 1969. Included are materials dating thousands of years old and those made recently. The collection includes cultural objects from the American Southwest and Latin America.
The Pre-Columbian collection was initiated in 1979 with a gift from Dr. Michael C. and Mannetta Braunstein. Today, the museum's holdings include a comprehensive collection of Pre-Columbian objects from nearly every culture of Pre-Columbian Latin America as well as Mexican dance masks and retablos; Guatemalan, Bolivian, and Navajo textiles; Paiute and Hopi basketry; and Navajo jewelry. *Some materials are accompanied by extensive documentation and associated information, while others are primary source materials that will enable scholarly research.
A variety of methodologies have been used at different times to collect, classify, analyze, and describe collection material, and the collections provide rich primary source information for multi-, cross-, and interdisciplinary studies.
*The Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art exercises all reasonable efforts to ensure that the antiquities in its collections were acquired in compliance with the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act of 1983 and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Convention on Cultural Property.