September 27, 2019–January 12, 2020

Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists

Ingram Gallery

  • Jamie Okuma, Luiseno/Shoshone-Bannock. Adaptation II, 2012. Shoes designed by Christian Louboutin. Leather, glass beads, porcupine quills, sterling silver cones, brass sequins, chicken feathers, cloth, deer rawhide, and buckskin. Minneapolis Institute of Art, Bequest of Virginia Doneghy, by exchange, 2012.68.1A,B. © 2012 Jamie Okuma

  • Rose B. Simpson, Santa Clara Pueblo. Maria, 2014. Chevy El Camino. Collection of the artist. © 2014 Rose B. Simpson. Image © Kate Russell

  • Elizabeth Hickox. Container, 1924. Plant fibers and dyed porcupine quills, 5 1/2 x 6 in. Denver Art Museum Collection: Purchase from Grace Nicholson, 1946.388. Photograph © Denver Art Museum

  • Sisseton Dakota artist. Tablecloth, ca. 1900. Wool cloth, beads, brass, and cotton. National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution (12/814). Photo by NMAI Photo Services

  • Ramona Sakiestewa, Hopi. Nebula 22 & 23, 2009. Tapestry, wool warp, and dyed wool weft, diptych: 32 1/2 x 33 in. each. Collection of Carl and Marilynn Thoma. © 2009 Ramona L. Sakiestewa. Image courtesy of Tai Modern Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

  • Innu (Naskapi) artist. Hunting Coat, ca. 1750. Caribou hide and pigment, 39 x 59 in. Minneapolis Institute of Art, The Robert J. Ulrich Works of Art Purchase, 2012.27

  • Crow artist. Dress, ca. 1930. Wool, elk teeth, and ribbon. Denver Art Museum Collection: Gift of the L. D. and Ruth Bax Collection, 1985.46. Photograph © Denver Art Museum

  • Dorothy Grant with Robert Davidson. Hummingbird Dress, 1995. Wool, 42 x 58 in. Denver Art Museum Collection: Native Arts acquisition fund, 2010.490. Photograph © Denver Art Museum. © 1989 Dorothy Grant and Robert Davidson

  • Lucy Martin Lewis. Jar, 1968. Ceramic and pigment, 5 5/8 x 7 3/8 x 7 3/8 in. Minneapolis Institute of Art, The Patricia and Peter Frechette Endowment for Art Acquisition and gift of funds from Constance Kunin, 2018.5

This is the first major museum exhibition exclusively devoted to Native women artists from all over the United States and Canada, ranging across time and media. Developed in close cooperation with leading Native artists and historians, the exhibition offers multiple perspectives to enhance understanding of Native art practices. The approximately 115 objects in the exhibition, including textiles, baskets, jewelry, painting, sculpture, photography, video, and digital art, are organized into sections that reflect why Native women create art. Hearts of Our People not only helps visitors understand the traditional role of Native women artists in serving the cultural, economic, diplomatic, and domestic needs of their communities, but also goes beyond the longstanding convention of treating these artworks as unattributed representations of entire cultures. The contemporary works on view, in particular, highlight the intentionality of the individual artist and demonstrate how the artist has been influenced by the preceding generations. The exhibition will be accompanied by interactive interpretive “ArtStories” in multiple media, and a scholarly catalogue. 

Organized by the Minneapolis Institute of Art

This exhibition has been made possible in part by a major grant from the Henry Luce Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

HCA Tri-Star

Platinum Sponsor

Union Station

Hospitality Sponsor


Supported in part by


Supported in part by

NEA Artworks

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