Out of the Basement: The Denver Art Museum’s Native Arts Collection, 1922–1970
On June 9, 1945, Lee Casey voiced his opinions concerning plans for a new Denver Art Museum in the Rocky Mountain News. Casey approved of the structural plans for the Museum, which the city sought to build in the heart of Denver, but he scorned the pieces inside. The “Indian collection,” he argued, featured only “dubious pottery and questionable blankets” which the museum ought to “swap… for a single good undraped statue or… an authentic copy of… ‘Custer’s Last Stand.’” Two days later, Otto Karl Bach, the director of the Denver Art Museum, responded to Casey’s “disparaging reference to the collection of American Indian art.” Bach considered Casey’s disdain misguided. According to Bach, Denver’s American Indian art collection, curated by Frederic (Eric) Huntington Douglas, earned “an international as well as national reputation.” Experts referenced it in “nearly every important publication on Indian art during the past 10 years.” Bach seemed unwilling to improve the museum at the expense of the native arts collection.
Viewers like Casey challenged Douglas and the Denver Art Museum’s native arts collection. Douglas, an anthropologist and educator, strove to inform average Americans about American Indian and other native cultures. The extent to which native art should be used for cultural education, however, was a matter of national debate. Native arts, due to their combined cultural importance and aesthetic beauty, existed at the crossroads of art and ethnology. Any given piece could be considered as an art object, ethnographic artifact, or some combination of the two. From the 1920s to the 1940s, some native art curators began to advocate for the display of native pieces as art. The pieces, they argued, deserved attention solely for their aesthetic qualities. Viewers like Casey galvanized the debate between aesthetic and ethnographic uses. Casey, as Bach’s response implied, required education to better appreciate the value of native pieces—a task that ethnographic presentation could address. How, then, could the Denver Art Museum remain faithful to the artistic merit of its native arts collection, while still educating individuals like Casey about native culture?
Tension between artistic and ethnographic uses of native objects affected the Denver Art Museum’s native arts collection throughout its maturation. The Denver Art Museum turned twenty-three years old a few months before Casey and Bach’s dispute. The native arts collection, one of the Museum’s first, grew with impressive speed during the Museum’s early years. The Museum also expanded—it erected new structures to accommodate the ever-growing collection. Growth, however, proved difficult in a city with a competitive real estate market and a frugal population. As the Museum fought to situate itself within Denver, barriers to development often forced museum officials to compromise. Denver Art Museum leadership left certain collections on the periphery and privileged others to prioritize space. Among other factors, the dilemma between ethnographic and artistic uses for native pieces informed the distribution of collections.
Anthropologist Nancy Parezo has contributed immensely to scholarship on the Denver Art Museum’s native arts collection. Parezo provides analyses of the Denver Art Museum Indian Department’s involvement in World War II and other successful outreach programs, as well as a study of Douglas’s curatorial philosophy. Parezo’s works present fascinating investigations of specific Denver Art Museum projects. This study of the native arts collection spans a broader amount of time (1922–1970) and hopes to situate Parezo’s findings in a larger temporal framework. Furthermore, this study connects the history of the Museum’s collection to broader curatorial attitudes towards native arts. By situating the Denver Art Museum’s Indian Department within a longer time span and in connection to broader movements, this study hopes to build on Parezo’s works.
Curatorial attitudes towards native arts provide a framework for understanding the history of the Denver Art Museum’s native arts collection. This study traces the history of the Museum’s native arts collection alongside socio-political currents in the United States. It treats the native arts collection as a single object of study, rather than considering the individual pieces that made up the collection. This study seeks to demonstrate that the Denver Art Museum’s curatorial decisions often paralleled American positions on the question of art versus ethnography. If the socio-political climate privileged an artistic interpretation of native objects, so too did the Museum, and the native art collection shifted accordingly. Conversely, the Museum adjusted if ethnographic uses were in vogue. The position of Denver Art Museum leadership regarding aesthetic versus ethnographic use influenced the fate of the native art collection as the Museum progressed along a tumultuous path of development.
Douglas’ Indian Department
Denver was not dealt a world-class museum. 1893 marked the humble beginning of the Denver Art Museum. Before a museum existed, Denver artists banded together as the Denver Artists’ Club, launching an over-century-long journey. The Club transitioned to an Association in 1917. It was not until 1923 that the Denver Art Museum adopted its current name. The acquisition of a permanent location catalyzed the Denver Art Association’s transition from association to museum. Jean Cranmer donated the Chappell House, a twenty-two-room red sandstone mansion, to the Denver Art Association in 1922 (Figure 1). With a structure dedicated to displaying art, the Denver Art Association became the Denver Art Museum and continued honing its modest collection.
The Denver Art Museum developed its investment in native arts due to a set of fortuitous circumstances rather than by initial design. The native arts collection was not the first Denver Art Museum collection, but quickly came to be its most valuable. In 1915, the Denver Artists’ Club launched its Asian art collection from the donations of a generous individual. During these years, another wealthy Denver resident—Anne Evans—began collecting native arts. She acquired what she called “barbaric art” for its aesthetic qualities. Evans’s collection proved foundational to the Denver Art Museum’s investment in native arts. In 1925, the Museum spearheaded American museum interest in native arts by creating the Indian Department. The Denver Art Museum was among the first American museums to insist on displaying native objects as art. Evans donated her entire collection in 1936, and along with other donors, catapulted the Denver Art Museum’s native arts collection to global standing.
The Denver Art Museum hired its first full-time curator in 1929 to manage its rapidly expanding repertoire: Frederic H. Douglas (1897–1956). The Chappell House provided space for exhibits, and one of its most valuable contents was the Indian Department, which was housed in the basement and directed by Douglas. As a curator, Douglas embodied the debate between ethnographic and aesthetic uses for native objects. He was formally trained as an anthropologist and taught anthropology at Denver University. Douglas’s role as the curator of an art museum, however, challenged his affinity for anthropology. As Douglas’s career progressed, his attitude towards native objects fluctuated between artistic and ethnographic emphases. Regardless of his approach to native objects, he maintained impressive expertise in his fields. In his oral history, Fred Bartlett recalled that Frederick Dockstader, a renowned art historian who specialized in American Indian art, claimed that Douglas knew “more about more Indians than anybody else in the world.”
Douglas held the title of Curator of Indian Art for thirteen years, during which he ran the Indian Department and built a collection and library of native pieces for the Denver Art Museum. The Museum’s Indian Department included Douglas and a few other employees. Douglas oversaw the collection itself. He collected new pieces for the museum, to the extent that the Rocky Mountain News claimed that his “private acquisitions formed the core of the entire department.” Additionally, Douglas published his studies in the form of leaflets and a book. His colleagues performed the arduous task of painting watercolor depictions of the various pieces in the collection for cataloguing purposes. As a result of Douglas’s work, Denver boasted a formidable native arts department across multiple fields. Not only did the museum own animpressive assemblage of pieces, but the department also contributed to native art studies through the distribution of informational leaflets. The leaflets attracted demand from domestic and foreign sources and contributed to the Indian Department’s status as, in the words of the Rocky Mountain News, “a veritable Mecca for American Indian scholars.” Douglas also accumulated a considerable number of sources related to native arts, which formed the basis for an impressive Memorial Library in the mid-1970s. Despite the Indian Department’s “cramped” existence “lodged in the basement of Chappell” House, the Rocky Mountain News reported, Douglas and his team oversaw a formidable collection of art, original scholarship, and library materials which earned Denver a place in the international art world.
From its inception through the early 1940s, the Indian Department progressed within a climate that advocated for native objects as art, rather than artifacts. The Western fascination with indigenous art intensified at the turn of the century, as European artists drew inspiration from pieces such as masks. Anne Evans, whose personal collection proved integral to the native arts collection, exemplified the newfound curiosity for native objects as art. She insisted on only acquiring pieces based on their aesthetic merits, rather than cultural significance. Native arts also became particularly important in the United States in the wake of the Great Depression, as the Roosevelt administration sought to protect the revenue Native Americans earned from selling art. The Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1935 created the Indian Arts and Crafts Board (IACB), which combatted forgeries and supported Native American artists.
With wealthy individuals, artistic movements, and the United States government in support, museum curators promoted native objects as art. In 1931, a Manhattan gallery opened its Exposition of Indian Tribal Arts, advertising the show as the first to exhibit “Indian art as art, not ethnology.” Famed art curator Rene D’Harnoncourt joined the movement as general manager of the IACB in 1937. D’Harnoncourt famously exhibited native arts in the Golden Gate Exposition of 1939, which many Native Americans appreciated (Figure 2). In 1941, he and Douglas published a book detailing their research. They created an exposition for the Museum of Modern Art in New York to accompany the research project the same year. Douglas and his Indian Department grew within a climate that favored an artistic interpretation of native objects. With the backing of his colleagues, he managed to assemble a formidable native art collection. In 1935, he stood in support of native objects as art: “if this Indian art is to reach its height,” he claimed in a journal article, “we must forget that it is the Indian and think only of it as art.”
Shifts in the 1940s
Starting in 1940, both Douglas’s career and the native arts collection underwent dramatic shifts. Douglas briefly accepted the post of Museum Director from 1940 to 1942, but American involvement in World War II interrupted his museum career. Douglas served in the Pacific until 1945. Despite the circumstances, Douglas continued his studies of native arts: he expanded his interests to include art of Pacific Islanders. The Denver Art Museum’s native art collection, like Douglas, deployed in service of the United States in 1942. Under the direction of Douglas, the Museum’s Indian Department created wall displays that were distributed to army bases in Colorado. The displays housed pieces from a variety of different native cultures and sought to educate American soldiers about people they might encounter while deployed. Cases covered areas where conflict was likely, such as North Africa, Japan, the Marianas, and the Philippines. The cases received largely positive reactions. One case, “G.I. Joe-Apache Style. 1880. A Native American Soldier of 60 Years Ago,” characterized Native Americans as ruthless fighters who deserved respect from white soldiers for their combat skills.
The Denver Art Museum’s World War II exhibits marked a deviation from the Indian Department’s earlier practices and foreshadowed future shifts in American attitudes towards native arts. The wall cases that the Museum deployed showed a departure from an appreciation for native art as art. The pieces hardly performed an artistic purpose, instead serving as ethnographic, educational tools. Furthermore, Denver Art Museum curators advanced stereotyped portrayals of Native Americans. The native arts featured in the displays shifted to propagandistic, rather than artistic, use. The “G.I. Joe-Apache Style” case also foreshadowed coming changes in American attitudes towards Native Americans. The case encouraged native assimilation into the armed forces; by the 1950s, the drive for assimilation extended to entire Native American communities.
During the late 1940s, the native arts collection, Douglas, and the Denver Art Museum changed to adapt to the post-war world. The war expanded the scope of the Museum’s native arts collection to include non-North American pieces. Private donors, impressed with the Museum’s wall cases, donated pieces. Furthermore, returning American military peronnel donated pieces they acquired while on tour overseas. Douglas’s post at the Denver Art Museum broadened accordingly in 1947 to accommodate art from non-American native cultures. He became Curator of Native (not just Indian) Arts. Shortly after his return from the war, Douglas furthered his involvement in the IACB and became Commissioner of the Board, with the intention of educating Native Americans about their artistic heritage. Meanwhile, the Denver Art Museum fought harder than ever to create a larger museum in which to hold the museum’s ever-expanding collections.
The New Museum of 1949
The creation of a new location near Civic Center Park completed a decades-long journey for the Denver Art Museum. Denver’s dream of an art museum in the heart of the city predated the Indian Department. Talk of creating an art museum for Denver in Civic Center Park began before the Chappell family donated their home to the Art Association. Denver Mayor Robert W. Speer hoped to add an art institute to the city’s center in the early 1920s, and all the factors for a new museum seemed to fall into place later in the decade. In 1928, Helen Dill donated $50,000 to Denver for the construction of a new museum, and Peter H. Holme, the owner of the lot on 14th and Acoma, was eager to sell. Unfortunately for the Denver Art Museum, Holme had previously offered the lot to the O’Meara Automobile Company. The company quickly took advantage of the offer and bought the land, which delayed the plan for another seventeen years. In April 1945, with the approval of Mayor Stapleton, the city of Denver forced the issue and sought condemnation of the property. By June of the same year, Denver ratified plans for its new museum.
A final hurdle remained between the Denver Art Museum and its decades-old dream: the people of Denver. The city put a twelve-million-dollar bond for funding up to a vote in May of 1947. Despite support from the press and museum director Otto Karl Bach’s pleas to Denverites, the motion failed. Undeterred, Bach and the museum sought funding elsewhere. It was only by January 1948 that the Rocky Mountain News published a triumphant headline: “CONGRATULATIONS,” the paper exclaimed, “to that rugged band of Denver citizens who [were] determined that Denver [was] going to have a… Museum Building of which we can be proud.” Thanks to the “wills of distinguished Denver residents,” the Denver Art Museum’s project finally came to fruition. The new Denver Art Museum opened in 1949.
The 1949 opening marked a major achievement for the Denver Art Museum, but the victory was bittersweet for the native arts collection. The original plans for the museum, which Denver voters declined, planned to include the collection in the main structure. Instead, the Denver Art Museum compromised and created a more modest building. Despite its expansion, the Museum could not yet consolidate its entire collection in the new location; certain pieces had to be left behind. The native art collection did not share the Denver Art Museum’s 1949 triumph. Starting on February 2, 1949, the collection began a twenty-two-year exclusion in the Indian-Native Art Museum of the Chappell House.
The Chappell House was not ideal for any fine art collection, much less one of the Denver Art Museum’s finest. At the time, the Indian Department oversaw the largest collection in the Museum, which was valued at over one million dollars. For comparison, the Museum’s entire collection valued two-million dollars in 1947. Fred Bartlett, an employee at the Chappell House, recalled later that the space featured two steam radiators in the center of the gallery. The radiators compensated for an architectural oversight and provided heat to the building but made it difficult to use the space for exhibits (figure 3). The Chappell House also lacked the sprawling spaces characteristic of a museum building in which to display larger collections. The Denver Art Museum decided to place its most valuable collection inside the Chappell House despite the location’s many shortcomings.
Practical concerns provide a compelling explanation for the native art collection’s relocation. Prior to the Denver’s denial of the proposed museum plan and subsequent budget cuts, the Denver Art Museum hoped to house the native arts collection within the new museum. The people of Denver voted down the plan, however, and the Museum settled for a more conservative building. The Museum was therefore forced to relocate a collection due to the unforeseen shrinkage. Denver Art Museum leadership had to choose which collection to move to the Chappell House and safety concerns likely informed the decision. Director Bach questioned the safety of the Chappell house as an exhibition space when pleading for a new museum in 1947. Before the new museum, the Chappell House and the museum’s other buildings accommodated 200,000 annual visitors, who overloaded the structures. According to Bach, viewers suffered from crowded conditions which were “inadequate and unsafe.” When deciding which collection to move to the Chappell House, Denver Art Museum leadership may simply have chosen less visited pieces to mitigate hazards caused by crowds of viewers.
Although practical concerns provide a compelling explanation for the native art collection’s new location, shifting attitudes regarding native objects towards ethnographic interpretations may also have kept native pieces out of the new Denver Art Museum. Lee Casey’s article, with which this paper opened, provided evidence of the attitudes of some white Denverites towards native arts. Casey diminished the native arts collection to “dubious pottery and questionable blankets,” calling into question whether he perceived native arts as art. The pieces Casey cites as potential replacements, “a single good undraped statue or… an authentic copy of… ‘Custer’s Last Stand,’” both differed in a major way from the native arts mentioned. Pottery and blankets served practical uses in addition to their aesthetic qualities, while statues and paintings existed exclusively as art objects. Casey’s request suggests reluctance by some viewers to accept native pieces in the same context as western fine art.
The Denver Art Museum’s use of its collection of native objects continued the shift towards ethnographic purposes. Following the success of the World War II outreach exhibits, Douglas became increasingly interested in traveling educational exhibits. He launched the Indian Fashion Show in 1942, another outreach exhibit with an ethnographic focus. He hoped to combat the stereotyping of native cultures in his shows, which were intended for Euro-American audiences. The fashion shows featured models wearing a variety of native outfits, who then walked a runway as if in a Western event. While Douglas certainly appreciated the aesthetic qualities of the pieces in the shows, he mainly intended to educate Western audiences about a facet of native cultures. The Indian Fashion Show continued the Denver Art Museum’s change from an aesthetic to ethnographic emphasis for its native arts collection.
Once again, the Denver Art Museum’s decisions fit within a broader American attitude towards native pieces. The native art collection’s consolidation in the Chappell House happened during a dip in American interest in native arts. The United States experienced a wave of nationalism following the war as the country worked to establish an image as a global superpower. The post-war years privileged an American artistic avant-garde over older pieces. Popular American art emphasized dynamic, experimental techniques. Abstract Expressionism captured the new American artistic ideal by using erratic shapes, shocking colors, and strange techniques. The United States government even employed the movement in a Cold War context to emphasize differences between the United States and its Soviet rival. Edgy Abstract Expressionism seemed qualified to combat comparatively rigid socialist realism. Native American arts, while valuable and beautiful, may have served as reminders of a history that many post-war Americans did not want to face: one of violence and oppression, rather than of freedom and progress. In a time when the United States’ image was of utmost importance, native arts may not have appealed to American audiences.
The marginalization of the native arts collection also happened just as the American government underwent profound shifts in its policy towards native peoples. According to one historian, World War II created a new American nationalism which emphasized cultural unity over pluralism. As a result, American assimilationist policies encouraged Native Americans to relocate to urban areas and combine with broader American culture. Native art pieces, however, existed in a definite form as reminders of identity and difference between native American and white American cultures. Native arts posed a challenge to the assimilationist goals of the time, which may further explain the shift away from an artistic appreciation of native arts within the United States.
Artistic Renewal in the 1960s and 1970s
The native arts collection remained in the Chappell House until 1970, when the Denver Art Museum once again expanded its gallery space. Douglas did not live to see the new developments; he died of cancer in 1956. This time, the addition brought the native arts collection into the heart of Denver’s art scene. A new building, created by famed architect Gio Ponti, replaced the 1949 building near City Park, and was set to open in 1971. The building, measuring a staggering 210,000 square feet, comfortably accommodated the native arts collection. The Denver Art Museum consolidated its collections inside the massive structure.
The consolidation of the native arts collection occurred during renewed shifts in American attitudes towards native cultures. Social movements of the 1960s and 1970s challenged the post-war nationalism of the late 1940s and 1950s. As the civil rights movement and American counterculture gained traction, people increasingly sought alternatives to the American dream of previous decades. Native American cultures, albeit in stereotyped forms, appealed to Americans seeking different types of expression and a renewed connection to ecology and the earth. The late 1960s also featured a surge of Native American nationalism. New native organizations, such as the American Indian Movement (AIM), sought to reassert Native American culture in the wake of years of assimilation. In Denver, the cultural movement bore organizations such as the Call of the Council Drums and Denver Native Americans United. The organizations sought new resources, such as a cultural center, in the city.
The social forces of the 1960s and 1970s shifted American opinions of native objects back towards aesthetic appreciation. Starting in the 1970s, scholars began specializing in Native American art history. The decade also featured a new set of exhibitions throughout the United States that challenged ethnological uses of native arts. The resurgence of interest in native arts manifested throughout the Denver Art Museum. The museum chose to move the native arts collection into the main museum, granting it a spot in the center of the Denver art scene. Douglas’s exceptional collection of texts and images pertaining to native arts also gained renewed attention. In 1976, librarian Margaret Goodrich began sorting through Douglas’s long-neglected library. Douglas’s Indian Fashion Show hit the runway for the last time in 1972. The metaphorical pendulum had swung back, and aesthetic interpretations were in vogue. Once again, the Denver Art Museum adjusted accordingly.
The 1971 opening made the Chappell House obsolete to the Denver Art Museum. The relocation of the Chappell House’s contents into the new Denver Art Museum building marked a major improvement for the native arts collection. But even as enthusiasm for native arts ran high, the Denver Art Museum’s position relative to native cultures remained complicated. The Chappell House became available just as the Call of the Council Drums planned to create a cultural center in Denver. In 1969, the group created a drive to acquire the House and advertised in the Denver Post for donations. The Museum chose to sell the house to different buyers, however, and the landmark was demolished in 1970. Despite the group’s best efforts, the Denver Art Museum sold the Chappell House and the new tenants promptly tore down the mansion to create space for a parking lot.
The Denver Art Museum, despite its young age, boasted an impressive native arts collection by the late 1940s thanks to Curator Frederic Douglas. Douglas led the museum’s Indian Department and contributed to the collection through acquisitions and scholarship. By the time the museum succeeded in building at a new location in 1949, the native arts collection accounted for over half the size and value of the Denver Art Museum’s pieces. Despite the collection’s outstanding size, value, and importance, the museum chose to relocate its native art collection to the Chappell House, a space ill-equipped for displaying art. The native arts collection remained in the Chappell House until an expansion to the Denver Art Museum made the House obsolete.
The story of the Chappell and the Denver Art Museum’s native arts collection ran parallel to broader forces and prevailing attitudes towards native objects in the United States. Outlooks on native arts shifted between ethnographic and aesthetic emphases throughout the twentieth century and the Denver Art Museum followed suit. The collection and the Indian Department emerged as enthusiasm for native arts was at a high. The United States government actively supported native arts and the Indian Department enjoyed the support of a cohort of enthusiastic experts. World War II and the Denver Art Museum’s involvement in the conflict marked a turning point in the prevailing attitudes towards native art. During the War, the Museum used its native art collection as an ethnographic tool for American wartime interests. After the conflict, the Indian Department and the Chappell House entered an environment less supportive of native arts. Native arts may not have fit in American post-war identity and emphasis on national unity. The Denver Art Museum shifted in accordance with the socio-political climate. The Museum left the native arts collection in the Chappell House, and Douglas deepened his involvement in ethnological outreach exhibits. Social movements of the 1960s and 1970s reinvigorated popular and academic interest in native arts. After over two decades in the Chappell House, the native arts collection enjoyed renewed interest as the American public reappreciated native objects for their aesthetic merits. Accordingly, the native arts collection moved to its current home in the heart of Denver. People paid more attention to Douglas’s library, and the Indian Fashion show ended. With no more use for the Chappell House, the structure was sold and demolished.
Despite its disappointing end, the Chappell House served as a home for a valuable and impressive collection. By better understanding the story of the Chappell House and its contents, the native arts collection can be approached with a better knowledge of the forces which shaped it. The debate between aesthetic and ethnologic uses for native objects was not resolved in the 1970s—the question still troubled the museum decades later. One scholar remarked in 1996 that the Denver Art Museum systematically used its native art exhibitions for education, largely aimed at children, while it displayed Euro-American pieces solely for artistic merits. To this day, the Denver Art Museum prides itself for housing both a culturally relevant, and aesthetically beautiful native arts collection. The stories of the native arts collection and the Chappell House remain relevant as the Denver Art Museum (and the art world) continues its search for a balanced interpretation of native pieces.
Lee Casey, “The Art Museum,” Rocky Mountain News, June 9, 1945; Otto Karl Bach, “Mr. Bach Defends Indian Exhibit,” Rocky Mountain News, June 11, 1945.
F. H. Douglas, “The Spring Exhibit of Indian Art,” El Palacio XXXVIII, no. 24-25–26 (June 26, 1935): 129–32.
“City Files Petition to Condemn Land South of Civic Center for Art Museum,” Rocky Mountain News, April 6, 1945; “Denver’s New Museum Building,” Rocky Mountain News, January 23, 1948.
 Broader histories of the DAM include Stan Cuba, The Denver Artists Guild: Its Founding Members; An Illustrated History (University Press of Colorado, 2015); Neil Harris, Marlene Chambers, and Lewis Wingfield Story, The First Hundred Years: The Denver Art Museum (The Museum, 1996). For Parezo’s contributions, see Nancy Parezo, “‘Our Native Allies’: The Denver Art Museum’s WWII Outreach Exhibits,” Museum History Journal 1, no. 1 (January 2008): 9–50, https://doi.org/10.1179/mhj.2008.1.1.9; Nancy J. Parezo, “THE INDIAN FASHION SHOW Fighting Cultural Stereotypes with Gender,” Journal of Anthropological Research 69, no. 3 (2013): 317–46; Nancy Parezo and Angelina Jones, “Ten Commandments for Effective Anthropological Exhibits,” Museum History Journal 5, no. 1 (January 1, 2012): 127–52, https://doi.org/10.1179/mhj.2012.5.1.127.
Erika Doss, “Displaying Cultural Difference: The North American Art Collections at the Denver Art Museum,” Museum Anthropology 20, no. 1 (March 1996): 25.
Frederick Dockstader (b. 1919) wrote multiple books on American Indian art, including Indian Art of the Americas (Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation, 1973). He directed the Museum of the American Indian in New York City. Fred S. Bartlett, Fred S. Bartlett Oral History, 1983.
Irene Clurman, “Art Museum’s F.H. Douglas Library Noted for Rare Items,” Rocky Mountain News, May 19, 1980; “American Indians Abroad,” Rocky Mountain News, April 20, 1947.
Pablo Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignonand many of Amadeo Modigliani’s portraits (to name a few) bear striking resemblances to African masks. For an overview of the topic, see Denise Murrell, “African Influences in Modern Art,” in HeilbrunnTimeline of Art History (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000) published April 2008, https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/aima/hd_aima.htm.
For an in-depth study of this topic, see Jennifer McLerran, A New Deal for Native Art: Indian Arts and Federal Policy, 1933-1943 (University of Arizona Press, 2009).
D’Harnoncourt (1901–1968) was the director of the Museum of Modern Art, New York from 1949 to 1967. He and Douglas wrote Frederic Huntington Douglas, Rene D’Harnoncourt, and Museum of Modern Art (New York N.Y.), Indian Art of the United States (Museum of Modern Art, 1941).
Molly H. Mullin, “The Patronage of Difference: Making Indian Art ‘Art, Not Ethnology,’” Cultural Anthropology 7, no. 4 (1992): 395; Susan L. Meyn, More Than Curiosities: A Grassroots History of the Indian Arts and Crafts Board and Its Precursors, 1920-1942 (Lexington Books, 2001); Douglas, “The Spring Exhibit of Indian Art,” 131.
Parezo, “Our Native Allies.”
Parezo, “Our Native Allies.”
 According to Parezo,“Our Native Allies,” 47, Denver Art Museum staff trained American soldiers to recognize worthwhile pieces with the future acquisition of objects in mind.
Kate Peck Kent, “Frederic Huntington Douglas 1897–1956,” American Anthropologist 60, no. 4 (1958): 737–737, https://doi.org/10.1525/aa.1958.60.4.02a00110; Bob Tonsing, “‘Fashion’ Expert Spurns Paris, Studies Indian Styles,” Denver Post, April 2, 1956.
“An Art Stimulant,” M.F., April 1922; “Denver Goes After Site For Museum: Lindsey Seeks Condemnation of Property to Pave Way for Housing of Art Objects Now in Storage,” Denver Post, April 5, 1945; Otto Karl Bach, “Art Museum Urgent Need: $2,000,000 Collection Widely Scattered,” Denver Post, April 5, 1947; “Denver’s New Museum Building.”
“Civic Center Museum Would Fill Acute Need,” Rocky Mountain News, March 2, 1947; “Indian-Native Art Museum To Open at Chappell House,” Rocky Mountain News, February 2, 1949.
“$1,500,000 Art Museum Plans Ratified,” Rocky Mountain News, June 8, 1945, 500; Otto Karl Bach, “Art Museum Urgent Need: $2,000,000 Collection Widely Scattered”; Fred S. Bartlett, Fred S. Bartlett Oral History, 1983.
“Civic Center Museum Would Fill Acute Need”; Otto Karl Bach, “Art Museum Urgent Need: $2,000,000 Collection Widely Scattered.”
Lee Casey, “The Art Museum.”
Parezo, “THE INDIAN FASHION SHOW Fighting Cultural Stereotypes with Gender,” 325-327.
 Eva Cockcroft, “Abstract Expressionism, Weapon of the Cold War” in Pollock and After: The Critical Debate, Francis Franscina, ed. (London and New York: Routledge, 2000), 147-154.
Larry W. Burt, “Roots of the Native American Urban Experience: Relocation Policy in the 1950s,” American Indian Quarterly 10, no. 2 (1986): 85–99, https://doi.org/10.2307/1183982.
Bruce Bernstein, “Contexts for the Growth and Development of the Indian Art World in the 1960s and 1970s,” in Native American Art in the Twentieth Century: Makers, Meanings, Histories, ed. W. Jackson Rushing III (London and New York: Routledge, 1999), 58-60; “Council Sets Drive For House,” Denver Post, June 26, 1969.
Bernstein, “Contexts for the Growth and Development of the Indian Art World in the 1960s and 1970s,” 58-60; Irene Clurman, “Art Museum’s F.H. Douglas Library Noted for Rare Items.”
“Council Sets Drive For House”; “Wreckers Rip down Distinguished Chappell House,” Rocky Mountain News, July 10, 1970.
Doss, “Displaying Cultural Difference,” 22.
“$1,500,000 Art Museum Plans Ratified.” Rocky Mountain News. June 8, 1945.
“American Indians Abroad.” Rocky Mountain News. April 20, 1947.
“An Art Stimulant.” M.F., April 1922.
Bach, Otto Karl. “Art Museum Urgent Need: $2,000,000 Collection Widely Scattered.” Denver Post. April 5, 1947.
Bach, Otto Karl. “Mr. Bach Defends Indian Exhibit.” Rocky Mountain News. June 11, 1945.
Bartlett, Fred S. Fred S. Bartlett Oral History, 1983. Cassette. The Denver Public Library, 1983.
Casey, Lee. “The Art Museum.” Rocky Mountain News. June 9, 1945.
“City Files Petition to Condemn Land South of Civic Center for Art Museum.” Rocky Mountain News. April 6, 1945.
“Civic Center Museum Would Fill Acute Need.” Rocky Mountain News. March 2, 1947.
Clurman, Irene. “Art Museum’s F.H. Douglas Library Noted for Rare Items.” Rocky Mountain News. May 19, 1980.
“Council Sets Drive For House.” Denver Post. June 26, 1969.
“Denver Goes After Site For Museum: Lindsey Seeks Condemnation of Property to Pave Way for Housing of Art Objects Now in Storage.” Denver Post. April 5, 1945.
“Denver’s New Museum Building.” Rocky Mountain News. January 23, 1948.
Douglas, F. H. “The Spring Exhibit of Indian Art.” El Palacio XXXVIII, no. 24-25–26 (June 26, 1935): 129–32.
Douglas, Frederic Huntington, Rene D’Harnoncourt, and Museum of Modern Art (New York). Indian Art of the United States. Museum of Modern Art, 1941.
“Indian-Native Art Museum To Open at Chappell House.” Rocky Mountain News. February 2, 1949.
Tonsing, Bob. “‘Fashion’ Expert Spurns Paris, Studies Indian Styles.” Denver Post. April 2, 1956.
“Wreckers Rip down Distinguished Chappell House.” Rocky Mountain News. July 10, 1970.
Bernstein, Bruce. “Contexts for the Growth and Development of the Indian Art World in the 1960s and 1970s.” In Native American Art in the Twentieth Century: Makers, Meanings, Histories, edited by W. Jackson Rushing III, 57–74. London and New York: Routledge, 1999.
Burt, Larry W. “Roots of the Native American Urban Experience: Relocation Policy in the 1950s.” American Indian Quarterly 10, no. 2 (1986): 85–99. https://doi.org/10.2307/1183982.
Cuba, Stan. The Denver Artists Guild: Its Founding Members: An Illustrated History. University Press of Colorado, 2015.
Dockstader, Frederick J. Indian Art of the Americas. Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation, 1973.
Doss, Erika. “Displaying Cultural Difference: The North American Art Collections at the Denver Art Museum.” Museum Anthropology 20, no. 1 (March 1996): 21–36. https://doi.org/10.1525/mua.19126.96.36.199.
Harris, Neil, Marlene Chambers, and Lewis Wingfield Story. The First Hundred Years: The Denver Art Museum. The Museum, 1996.
Kent, Kate Peck. “Frederic Huntington Douglas 1897–1956.” American Anthropologist 60, no. 4 (1958): 737–737. https://doi.org/10.1525/aa.1958.60.4.02a00110.
McLerran, Jennifer. A New Deal for Native Art: Indian Arts and Federal Policy, 1933-1943. University of Arizona Press, 2009.
Meyn, Susan L. More Than Curiosities: A Grassroots History of the Indian Arts and Crafts Board and Its Precursors, 1920-1942. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Lexington Books, 2001.
Mullin, Molly H. “The Patronage of Difference: Making Indian Art ‘Art, Not Ethnology.’” Cultural Anthropology 7, no. 4 (1992): 395–424.
Murrell, Authors: Denise. “African Influences in Modern Art | Essay | The Metropolitan Museum of Art | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History.” The Met’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. Accessed April 19, 2020. https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/aima/hd_aima.htm.
Parezo, Nancy. “‘Our Native Allies’: The Denver Art Museum’s WWII Outreach Exhibits.” Museum History Journal 1, no. 1 (January 2008): 9–50. https://doi.org/10.1179/mhj.2008.1.1.9.
Parezo, Nancy J. “THE INDIAN FASHION SHOW Fighting Cultural Stereotypes with Gender.” Journal of Anthropological Research 69, no. 3 (2013): 317–46.
Parezo, Nancy, and Angelina Jones. “Ten Commandments for Effective Anthropological Exhibits.” Museum History Journal 5, no. 1 (January 1, 2012): 127–52. https://doi.org/10.1179/mhj.2012.5.1.127.