Santa Fe Living Treasures ‚Äď Elder Stories
VOLUNTEERISM AS A PROFESSION
Honored June, 1994
Maggie Phinney celebrated America's Bicentennial in a big way. Living in London in the 1970s, she decided to give the British an unforgettable exhibit of American Indian art. From the teeming basement of the British Museum, came carvings Capt. Cook acquired in the Pacific Northwest. From the Ashmolean at Oxford, came Powhatan's robes. From the Rheims Cathedral came wampum belts collected by early French missionaries. It took a committee of one hundred--under Maggie's leadership--five years to prepare this major show. "Sacred Circles: Two Thousand years of North American Indian Art" drew record crowds to London's Hayward Gallery. Only Matisse ever had a bigger turnout. And she did it all as a volunteer.
"The first time I remember doing volunteer work was at sixteen," she told us. "My parents taught me that if I could afford to volunteer--both financially and time wise--I had a responsibility to give back to the community."