Native American Indian culture at Denver Art Museum


The Denver Art Museum introduces itself as “an educational, nonprofit resource that sparks creative thinking and expression through transformative experiences with art. Its holdings reflect the city and region—and provide invaluable ways for the community to learn about cultures from around the world.”

We visited in April 2017 attracted by their focus on cultures in their collections rather that artists or genres. We specifically wanted to see their collection of The Native American Indian and we were not disappointed. Colourful, varied, well laid out, extremely informative and a most memorable experience. It is surely one of the best museums in America.

DAM Top Facts

  1. The museum’s origins can be traced back to the founding of the Denver Artists Club in 1893. The Club renamed itself the Denver Art Association in 1917 and opened its first galleries in the City and County building two years later.
  2. Because of the distinct configuration of the steel to produce the building, the Hamilton Building expansion of the DAM received a Presidential Award of Excellence from the American Institute of Steel Construction in 2007.
  3. The museum has nine curatorial departments: Architecture, Design and Graphics; Asian Art; Modern and Contemporary; Native Arts (African, American Indian and Oceanic); New World (pre-Columbian and Spanish Colonial); Painting and Sculpture (European and American); Photography; Western Art; and Textile Art and Fashion.
  4. Started in 1925, the Denver Art Museum was one of the first museums to use aesthetic quality as the criteria to develop a native arts collection and was the first art museum in the United States to collect American Indian art. Over the past century the collection has grown to encyclopaedic proportions and now contains nearly 20,000 art objects.
  5. In 1983 the museum became the home of the controversial pop-art sculpture The Shootout by Red Grooms. It represents a cowboy and an Indian shooting at one another. The sculpture, now on the roof of the museum restaurant, had been evicted from two other downtown Denver locations after Native American activists protested and threatened to deface the work.

Our Top Photos

Categories: art, Travel

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8 replies

  1. Thank you for sharing such wonderful photos

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My kind of museum. Great pictures and historical detail about the museum. The Glenbow Museum in Calgary has some similar displays, especially the dressed pony.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We also visited the Asian Art section too which as a subject we are much more knowledgeable about (My wife is from Nepal). But we enjoyed the new genre very much never having seen Native American artefacts before. Another one I will write about soon in The Slav Epic in Prague, are you familiar with it?

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  3. Love those headdresses – takes me directly back to a John Ford movie!

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