Joan & George Anderman Gallery of Oceanic Art, Level 3, Hamilton Building
The Oceanic art collection includes an array of art forms from the South Pacific region and is especially strong in art from the geographic regions of Melanesia and Polynesia. This collection of more than 1,000 pieces includes important historic monumental sculpture, delicate bark cloth, intricate wood carvings, and the work of contemporary artists such as Mathias Kauage and Laben Sakale.
The Oceanic collection includes all major island groups, with particular strength in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century wood carving and painted bark cloth from the islands of Samoa, Tonga, and Hawaii. Most impressive is the Melanesian collection, consisting of masterpieces from Papua New Guinea and New Ireland.
This reinstallation of the Joan & George Anderman Gallery of Oceanic Art offers a glimpse at the variety of creative design and ingenious construction possible through the unique medium of bark cloth (or tapa) used across the Pacific. More
Across the islands of the Pacific artists have been creating intricate and captivating works of art from bark cloth for hundreds of years. The Denver Art Museum’s current Oceanic exhibition Printed and Painted: the Art of Bark Cloth explores the variety and ingenuity of expression found in this medium. In creating bark cloth, also known as tapa, patterns with a myriad of designs and motifs were used. More
Rare-earth magnets are frequently used in the mounting or hanging of textiles, as has been previously highlighted in Denver Art Museum blog posts on the installation of American Indian, Chinese, and resist-dyed objects. More
Companion to Oceanic Art at the Denver Art Museum. Blomberg, Nancy J. Denver: Denver Art Museum, 2014.
Organized by the four major regions of Oceania (Polynesia, Melanesia, Micronesia, and Australia), the 100-page book contains 80 color photos, including close-ups that allow the reader to see incredible details that would not be visible even in the gallery.
The Oceanic collection is part of the native arts department, which also includes the arts of the indigenous peoples of North America, Africa, and Oceania. In the American Indian, Oceanic art, and African art collections, important modern and contemporary artists are represented; reflecting the continued but evolving artistic practice of indigenous artists and cultures. Learn more about the native arts department on the American Indian Art collection page.
- Nancy Blomberg, Chief Curator and Curator of Native Arts
- John Lukavic, Associate Curator of Native Arts
- Eric Berkemeyer, Curatorial Assistant of Native Arts
- Heather Nielsen, Associate Director of Learning and Engagement
- Edgar C. McMechan, Curator
- Frederic H. Douglas, Curator
- Kate Peck Kent, Assistant Curator
- Royal B. Hassrick, Curator
- Norman Feder, Curator
- Richard Conn, Curator
- David Irving, Assistant Curator
- Ryntha Johnson, Assistant Curator
- Moyo Okediji, Assistant Curator
- Roger Echo-Hawk, Assistant Curator
- Polly Nordstrand, Associate Curator