The George and Louise Patten collection of Salem Hyde cultural artifacts sparks many challenging discussions about the histories, acquisition, and curatorial practices tied to pre-Columbian works found in North American collections today. When examining the transnational exchange of ancient objects that comprise key collections of Indigenous art, there are often no easy or definitive answers surrounding the ethics of such practices. Additionally, the history and acquisition of this collection is a reminder of the impact of colonialism on our understanding of ancient Indigenous cultures. A twentieth century collector from the Southeastern United States removed the collection from its point of origin in Latin America. The circumstances surrounding the collection’s current home at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga provides an opportunity to consider questions of cultural patrimony and the history of museology from a post-colonial perspective.