Memorial for ASM Director Set for Saturday
Hartman Lomawaima bridged cultures to build collections and trust in museums around the country.

Jeff Harrison
Oct. 8, 2008

A memorial service for Hartman H. Lomawaima will be held on Saturday, Oct. 11, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Student Union Memorial Center, South Ballroom, which is now ADA-compliant.

Lomawaima was the director of the Arizona State Museum when he died last July 8 at age 58 after a year-long battle with cancer.

A native of Second Mesa on the Hopi Nation in northern Arizona, Lomawaima spent his career bridging Native and non-Native cultures over contentious issues such as repatriation of culturally sensitive materials housed in museum collections. 

He held a number of national positions including the Board of Trustees for the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian and the national steering committee to develop an American Indian Museums Association.

Lomawaima was the first American Indian to head the 115-year-old Arizona State Museum, a post he had held since 2004. He also was both the first American Indian to head a major museum in the Southwest and a state agency in Arizona.

Under his stewardship, ASM opened its noted Pottery Project exhibit, redesigned the front entrance to the building, and spearheaded ASM's efforts to establish a museum site in Tucson's downtown redevelopment district, tentatively due to open in 2011.  

Lomawaima's scholarly publications include contributions to the "Encyclopedia of North American Indians" and "Encyclopedia of American History"; contributions to "The State of Native America" (a working title at Harvard University Press) and "Portraits of a People," a manuscript on the imagery of photographer Edward S. Curtis. 

He also served as principal consultant and humanities scholar for a documentary film, "Coming to Light: Edward S. Curtis and the North American Indian," by Anne Makepeace.

Hartman Lomawaima is survived by his wife, Tsianina Lomawaima.

For those who would like to make a gift, donations are encouraged to the Hopi Education Endowment Fund, The Hopi Foundation, the Arizona State Museum or the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Extra info


Memorial for Hartman Lomawaima


Student Union Memorial Center, South Ballroom


Saturday, Oct. 11, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.


Resources for the media

Tsianina Lomawaima

American Indian Studies