Why We Dance: American Indian Art in Motion

Exhibition Website

May 29 2016 - Aug 14 2016

This multisensory exhibition will present the motives behind Native American dance and highlight the museum’s annual Friendship Powwow and American Indian Cultural Celebration. It features about 86 works, including 78 drawn from the DAM’s American Indian art collection.

In addition to historic works, the exhibition will showcase contemporary dance regalia from the regional Native American community. Paintings and drawings will illustrate specific Native dances such as animal dances, healing dances, and rites of passage primarily found in the Plains region and the American Southwest. Included in the exhibition are large-scale, dance-themed portraits from the 1939 San Francisco World’s Fair by Charles Loloma, Jose Duran, and Ignacio Moquino.

Visitors also will be invited into a dancing circle through Mohawk artist Alan Michelson's Round Dance video art installation, allowing them to join in on a form of dance used as social protest over tribal sovereignty issues. 

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website

  • Indigenous
  • Culture / Lifestyle
  • Native-American

Exhibition Venues & Dates