Larger Type
Smaller Type

Search Collections

The Fire Dance

1907 Louis Potter Born: Troy, New York 1873 Died: Seattle, Washington 1912 bronze 30 x 11 3/4 x 11 3/4 in. (76.2 x 29.8 x 29.8 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mrs. George R. Percy 1917.3.1 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 19B

Luce Center Label

The Fire Dance is one of many works that grew out of Louis Potter’s experiences with the native cultures in Alaska. It is possible that the artist saw a fire dance ceremony, popular with many Native American nations at the time. The graceful lines of the arms and the legs and the exaggerated, forward motion of the dancer capture the intensity of this ritual, which the participants regarded as a joyful battle with nature’s elements.


Ceremony - dance - Fire Dance

Ceremony - Indian

Ethnic - Indian

Figure male - full length

Figure male - nude


metal - bronze