Pamela Jardine, respected curator and advocate for Native American art and culture, passed
away on April 28, 2021 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
Most recently, she helped revive one of Montclair Art Museum’s best kept secrets with the
reinstallation of the Museum’s Rand Gallery, which included new acquisitions of up-and-coming
indigenous artists. Last year, she curated the exhibit, Virgil Ortiz: Odyssey of the Venutian
Soldiers, which the New York Times heralded as a “Don’t Miss” art show. This innovative show
blended science fiction and folk art as an educational tool about the 1680 revolt when
indigenous people in today’s New Mexico drove out the Spanish colonizers.
Previously, she played a leadership role at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of
Archaeology and Anthropology (now called the Penn Museum). As the Keeper of the American
Section and the Museum’s Assistant Director, she curated numerous major exhibits that toured
the globe, including River of Gold: Precolumbian Treasures from Sitio Conte, which opened at
the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. She had a special love of cloth materials, as
demonstrated with her two shows, The Gift of Spiderwoman: Southwestern Textiles at the Penn
Museum and The Silent Language of Guatemalan Textiles at the Arthur Ross Gallery in
In the 1990s, Dr. Jardine oversaw all the Museum’s collections and produced numerous
traveling exhibitions, including The Royal Tombs of Ur, and Pomo Indian Basket Weavers: Their
Baskets and the Art Market. She was responsible for the reinstallation of several galleries,
including the Greek and the Near Eastern Galleries. She worked closely with indigenous
consultants on a long-term gallery installation that featured cultural perspectives of Native
American peoples of the Southwest – the Hopi, Zuni, and Navajo. Posthumously, her work on
the Blackfeet tribe will become an exhibit at the Penn Museum.
She was born Pamela Haberland on February 8, 1939, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her father,
John, was a surgeon and beloved family doctor, and her mother, Irene, was a spirited cultural
force and co-founder of Edgewood Orchard Galleries in Fish Creek, Wisconsin. She attended
Milwaukee Downer Seminary (now University School of Milwaukee), graduated from Scripps
College, Claremont, CA, and earned her Masters and PhD in American Civilization from the
University of Pennsylvania. She was a magnificent storyteller, gatherer of people, and kind
Pamela is survived by her daughter and daughter-in-law, Shelley Hearne and Kathleen Welch, of
Johns Island, SC, and her daughter and son-in-law, Alexandra and Doug Jackson of Hillsborough,
NJ, and her two grandchildren, Zoe and Ella Jackson, and sister, Anne Haberland Emerson and
brother, Paul Haberland, both of Fish Creek, Wisconsin. Her husband, William Jardine II, is
deceased, as are her former spouse, Robert Hearne, and late-in-life companion, Dr. G. Leonard Apfelbach. The family is planning a celebration via Zoom and a burial service this summer at the Church of the Atonement in Fish Creek.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations can now be made to The American Indian College Fund in memory of Pamela Hearne Jardine or on the website collegefund.org.
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