Rhythm & Roots

Dance in American Art
July 10, 2016–October 2, 2016
George Caleb Bingham, The Jolly Flatboatmen, 1846. Oil on canvas;

George Caleb Bingham (American, 1811-1879), The Jolly Flatboatmen, 1846. Oil on canvas; framed: 46 x 56-5/8 x 4-1/8 in. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Patrons’ Permanent Fund. 2015.18.1

William Merritt Chase, Carmencita, 1890. Oil on canvas.

William Merritt Chase (American, 1849-1916), Carmencita, 1890. Oil on canvas; Framed: 80 ½ x 50 ¾ x 4 ¼ in. (204.5 x 128.9 x 10.8 cm.) Lent by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Sir William Van Horne, 1906.

Arthur F. Mathews, Youth, about 1917. Oil on canvas.

Arthur F. Mathews (American, 1860-1945), Youth, about 1917. Oil on canvas; 59 ½ x 67 ¾ in. (151.1 x 172.1 cm.) Collection of the Oakland Museum of California, Gift of Concours d’ Antiques, the Art Guild, A66.196.24

William H. Johnson, Jitterbugs (II), about 1941. Oil on paperboard.

William H. Johnson (American, 1901-1970), Jitterbugs (II), about 1941. Oil on paperboard; 24 x 15 3/8 in. (61 x 39.1 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Harmon Foundation, 1967.59.611

Frank Myers, The Charleston, 1926. Oil on canvas.

Frank Myers (American, 1899-1956), The Charleston, 1926. Oil on canvas; 40 x 44 x 3 ½ in. (101.6 x 111.8 x 8.9 cm.) The Irvine Museum.

William Sidney Mount, Dance of the Haymakers, 1845. Oil on canvas.

William Sidney Mount (American, 1807-1868), Dance of the Haymakers, 1845. Oil on canvas mounted on wood; Framed: 37 ½ x 32 ½ in. (95.3 x 82.6 cm). The Long Island Museum of American Art, History & Carriages. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Ward Melville, 1950.

Now Closed: July 10, 2016–Oct 2, 2016
Hamilton Building - Level 2

Rhythm & Roots: Dance in American Art explores the influences, evolution, and distinct traditions of dance in America. The exhibition portrays dances throughout America's diverse community, from the sacred dances of indigenous North Americans, to Irish jigs, and Spanish flamencos. About 90 paintings, photographs, sculptures, and costumes relating to American dance from 1830 to 1960 will be on view.

The exhibition examines how dance moved to the public stage, showing new American dances, dance in the club, and artists’ historic fascination with and depiction of performers. Paintings in the exhibition feature iconic American dancers such as Isadora Duncan, Katherine Dunham, Fred Astaire, and Josephine Baker, as well as Spanish dancer Carmencita Dauset Moreno, and Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova.

Rhythm & Roots also demonstrates the interaction between visual artists, dancers, and choreographers. Works on view by artists such as Isamu Noguchi and Andy Warhol highlight collaborations with acclaimed dancers such as Martha Graham and Merce Cunningham.

Video, music, and interactive spaces help bring dance and performance to life in the exhibition galleries.

A richly illustrated exhibition catalog featuring essays by art historians and dance specialists is available in The Shop and online.

The traveling exhibition Dance: American Art, 1830–1960, is organized by the Detroit Institute of the Arts, and curated by Jane Dini, associate curator of American art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Rhythm & Roots: Dance in American Art is locally curated by Angelica Daneo, curator of painting and sculpture at the DAM. The Art of American Dance: 1830-1960 will be on view at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas (October 22, 2016-January 16, 2017).

Plan Your Visit

Admission to Rhythm & Roots is included in general admission; free for members; and free for kids age 18 and younger.

Not yet a member? Join today.

Group Tickets, Group Tours & Event Rentals

Specially priced tickets for groups of 10 or more are available with advance reservations. Private gallery rentals and special event bookings are also available. Exhibition tours for groups can be scheduled (offered Tuesday–Friday, 3-week advance reservations required).

Please contact group sales at 720-913-0088 or email groupsales@denverartmuseum.org for group tickets and booking details.

Exhibition Catalog

Dance: American Art 1830-1960 exhibition catalog
Dance: American Art 1830–1960

Rhythm & Roots has been organized by the Detroit Institute of Arts. Support has been provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, an ADAA Foundation Curatorial Award, and the Association of Art Museum Curators.

Local support is provided by Wells Fargo, Adolph Coors Exhibition Endowment Fund, Cici Holbrook, the generous donors to the Annual Fund Leadership Campaign, and the citizens who support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD). Promotional support is provided by 5280 Magazine, CBS4, Comcast Spotlight, and The Denver Post.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.