Behind the Scenes at the DAM

Pop-Up Exhibit Captures Moments from Wilson's Tintype Sittings (Video)

Diné (Navajo) photographer Will Wilson—the DAM’s latest artist-in-residence—has installed his work in the photography gallery as part of a one-week-only, pop-up exhibit.

Working with museum visitors and members of Colorado’s American Indian community, Will set up a tintype portrait studio inside the artist-in-residence space in the North Building. Participants were invited to bring items of personal significance to include in the photograph, to both express their individuality and to illustrate the collaboration that occurs between artist and subject in the making of a portrait.

While Will utilizes the nineteenth-century tintype process, he then scans the plates to create the large-format digital prints on display in the gallery. The original tintype images are given to the sitters as a gesture of reciprocity. In doing so, Will aims to launch a dialogue around the historic photographic depictions of indigenous Americans.

Will’s work will be on view in the pop-up exhibit March 29–April 7 on level 7 of the North Building. Be sure to stop by and take a look!

Micah Messenheimer is the curatorial assistant in the Denver Art Museum's photography department. Micah has been at the DAM since 2010.