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.
During the North Building renovation project, the Oceanic art galleries are closed. Please view select pieces from the Denver Art Museum’s Oceanic collection in the cross-departmental exhibition The Light Show.
EXPLORE THE COLLECTION ONLINE: Browse artworks from the Oceanic art collection anytime. Check back often for additions and updates.
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.
News & Stories
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.
- John Lukavic, A. W. Mellon Curator of Native Arts
- Julia Strunk , Curatorial Assistant
- Heather Nielsen, Associate Director of Learning and Engagement
- Chris Patrello, Andrew W. Mellon Post-Doctoral Curatorial Fellow
- Nancy Blomberg, Chief Curator and Curator of Native Arts
- Denene De Quintal, Andrew W. Mellon Post-Doctoral Curatorial Fellow
- 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