The Denver Art Museum dedicates more than 20,000 square feet of gallery space in the newly reimagined Martin Building to exhibiting its unparalleled Indigenous Arts of North America collection. Featuring more than 18,000 objects ranging from ancient Puebloan and Mississippian ceramics to 19th-century beaded garments and carved masks to cutting-edge contemporary paintings, sculpture, photography and variable media art, the DAM holds one of the most comprehensive collections from this region in existence—with particular strengths in art from the Plains and the Southwest, as well as works from the Great Lakes, Northeast, and Subarctic regions.
The debut installation features more than 500 works by artists from across the continent, curated by the museum’s Native Arts department staff with guidance from the Museum’s Indigenous Community Advisory Committee. Placing a strong emphasis on artists, the new gallery experience prioritizes Indigenous perspectives, and features an integration of contemporary and historic works.
A central Creative Zone with activities and an Artist-in-Residence space anchor the two main galleries. Labels throughout the gallery provide nuanced viewpoints on the objects from Indigenous peoples, while videos throughout the space offer first-hand accounts from artists on their creative processes. The new installation explores the inherited qualities of Indigenous artistic practice while also emphasizing the dynamism and innovation intrinsic both to the development of Indigenous contemporary art and to the perseverance of tribal cultures across time.
Credit: Overview from museum website