About the Museum
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”

Director The Museum of Northern Arizona is headed by Director Robert G. Breunig, PhD.  Dr. Breunig joined MNA as Director in January, 2004.  Learn more about Dr. Breunig here.
Founded in 1928 as a community effort by a group of Flagstaff citizens, the Museum of Northern Arizona (MNA) 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 from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, were dedicated to preserving the history and cultures of northern Arizona.

            Coltons on Field Exhibition

From its humble beginnings  in Flagstaff, MNA 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.


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          Intergenerational Campus

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

The Museum

    Nampeyo pottery jar

MNA's logo is an adaptation of a Hopi design from a Nampeyo pottery jar purchased by the Coltons.  Dr. Colton sketched a simplified design from a  jar, which had been created by the legendary potter Nampeyo. (Photo by Marc Gaede, 1973.)  Although the pictured jar has been credited by some as being the source of Dr. Colton's inspiration, the exact pot was never specified by Dr. Colton and in fact the MNA collections contain several Nampeyo pots which could also have provided elements of the logo he designed.

The logo has been somewhat altered throughout the years, although it remains true to the original design.  The pictured jar is now part of MNA's ethnology collection.

The Museum of Northern Arizona is governed by the rules set forth in the MNA Bylaws and the MNA Articles of Incorporation.

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