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Native American artist Steven Yazzie, Orchestrating a Blooming Desert, 2003, painting, oil on canvas

The Land Carries Our Ancestors: Contemporary Art by Native Americans

Past Exhibition

September 22, 2023 – January 15, 2024
East Building, Upper Level, West Bridge

Curated by artist Jaune Quick-to-See Smith (Citizen of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Nation), this exhibition brings together works by an intergenerational group of nearly 50 living Native artists practicing across the United States. Their powerful expressions reflect the diversity of Native American individual, regional, and cultural identities. At the same time, these works share a worldview informed by thousands of years of reverence, study, and concern for the land. 

Through a variety of practices—including weaving, beadwork, sculpture, painting, printmaking, drawing, photography, performance, and video—these artists visualize Indigenous knowledge of land/ landbase/ landscape. Together, the works in The Land Carries Our Ancestors underscore the self-determination, survivance, and right to self-representation of Indigenous peoples. 

Explore Selected Works


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Educator Resources (K–12)

Organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington

Other venues
New Britain Museum of American Art, Connecticut, April 19–September 15, 2024

The Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Foundation has provided major support for the exhibition. 

Additional funding is provided by the Director’s Circle and the Tower Project of the National Gallery of Art.

Admission is always free and passes are not required

Banner detail: Steven Yazzie (Diné/Pueblo of Laguna, New Mexico/European descent), Orchestrating a Blooming Desert, 2003, oil on canvas, Collection of Christy Vezolles. © 2003 Steven J. Yazzie. All rights reserved. Image: Courtesy of the Heard Museum, Photo by Craig Smith