American Indian Paintings from the 1939 World's Fair

These larger-than-life tempera paintings (most are about 14 feet tall) were first shown at the San Francisco World’s Fair in 1939. For the American Southwest display, three young Pueblo artists—Charles Loloma, Ignacio Moquino, and Jose Duran—were commissioned to paint these images of masked dancers, which then were hung prominently over the exhibit.

To our knowledge, they have not been seen by the public since 1939.

The video above is a time-lapse of the paintings being installed on a wall in the Hamilton Building that's 62 feet and 2 1/2 inches tall. The murals will be on view through October 10, 2016.

Top row:

Ignacio Moquino (Zia, 1917-1982), Crow Dancer, 1939.

Ignacio Moquino, Crow Dancer, 1939.

Ignacio Moquino, Crow Dancer, 1939.

Middle row:

Charles Loloma (Hopi, 1921-1991), Avachhoya (Zuni Spotted Corn Katsina), 1939.

Jose Duran and Ignacio Moquino, Summer Santo Domingo Corn Dancer, 1939.

Jose Duran and Ignacio Moquino, Summer Santo Domingo Corn Dancer, 1939.

Jose Duran (Tesuque, born about 1915), Pueblo Deer Dancer, 1939.

Bottom row:

Charles Loloma, Buffalo Dancer, 1939.

The paintings were given to the Denver Art Museum by the Indian Arts and Crafts Board in Washington, D.C., in 1953.

Anna Groeling was a summer 2016 content intern in the marketing department at the Denver Art Museum. She loves the photography displayed in the museum and recommends seeing Star Wars and the Power of Costume when it opens November 13, 2016.