The Native American Initiative at Shelburne Museum is a major undertaking that includes stewardship of an important collection of Native American art and construction of a building and integrated landscape collaboratively designed to create a national resource for the study and care of Indigenous art. 

Shelburne Museum has approached this project with an abiding awareness of the responsibility inherent in caring for a collection that represents living cultures. Partnerships with source communities have been a priority and focus—the Museum has worked to build relationships that will make the Perry Center for Native American Art a resource that reimagines the Museum and its role in presenting American art and material culture. 

The Native American Initiative is rooted in Shelburne Museum founder Electra Havemeyer Webb’s (1888–1960) deep interest in, and engagement with, Indigenous art and culture, an aspect of Shelburne Museum’s program incompletely realized in her lifetime and of singular importance to the institution today.