Sovereign: Independent Voices

Sep 15, 2013–Aug 16, 2015

Albert Bierstadt, Estes Park, Longs Peak, 1877. Lent by the Denver Public Library, Western History Division.

Kent Monkman, whose work is featured in Sovereign: Independent Voices, riffs off paintings by Albert Bierstadt like this one.

Cochiti and Tesuque Pueblo figurines for sale, about 1878–81. Photo by Ben Wittick, courtesy Palace of the Governors Photo Archives (NMHM/DCA), 16293.

This image is included on page 11 of the Sovereign: Independent Voices brochure.

Kent Monkman, History is Painted by the Victors, 2013. Photograph courtesy the artist. Thomas Eakins, photographer (American, 1844 - 1916). Eakins's Students at the The Swimming Hole, 1884, Albumen silver print. Image: 9.3 x 12.1 cm (3 11/16 x 4 13/16 in.) Mount: 10.8 x 16.5 cm (4 1/4 x 6 1/2 in.) The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

Thomas Eakins used the photograph at bottom, one of a series of posed studies featuring nude young men playing outdoor sports, to develop his painting The Swimming Hole. In a deliberate nod to Eakins, Kent Monkman arranges the figures in History is Painted by the Victors, at top, in a similar fashion. Note especially the figures at left in the painting.


Closed: September 15, 2013–Aug 16, 2015
Hamilton Building - Level 3

Sovereign: Independent Voices highlights the work of three leading American Indian contemporary artists, Kent Monkman, Rose Simpson, and Virgil Ortiz, who have received international acclaim. These artists challenge people to think more broadly about the place of native artists in the contemporary art world through a fusion of historic techniques with contemporary styles and ideas. The included works reflect meditations on the self and native histories in a variety of media, including painting, sculptural ceramics, and multimedia works. Organized and curated by the DAM's associate curator of native arts, John Lukavic, this exhibit is on view in the Mike and Suzy Leprino Gallery.

Related brochures for online viewing and downloading:

Also, click the slideshow thumbnails for a closer look at related images and videos.

News & Stories

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    Blog: Behind the Scenes

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    Country music words to live by. To help you “write a good one” I surveyed some of the Denver Art Museum staff to find out what they are most excited about in the coming year. Even though 2013 is a mere day behind us, the DAM team is already running full-speed ahead and working on amazing exhibitions and projects. Mark your calendar for these not-to-be-missed moments. More

  • A Hand-Crafted Frame: The Other Artwork on the Wall
    Blog: Behind the Scenes

    A Hand-Crafted Frame: The Other Artwork on the Wall

    While we generally shine the spotlight on one of our stunning works of art, in this blog post I want to illuminate the oft overlooked frame. Recently, museum supporter Kent Logan loaned a new artwork by Canadian Cree artist Kent Monkman for the exhibition Sovereign: Independent Voices. The painting, titled History is Painted by the Victors, is steeped in historical art references and recreates a painting by nineteenth-century artist Albert Bierstadt. More