Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists

February 21, 2020 – May 17, 2020

Renwick Gallery (Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street NW)
An artwork with small details made of beads

Christi Belcourt (Métis),The Wisdom of the Universe (detail), 2014, acrylic on canvas; Art Gallery Ontario, Toronto; Purchased with funds donated by Greg Latremoille © Christi Belcourt

Women have long been the creative force behind Native American art. Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists, organized by the Minneapolis Institute of Art, is the first major thematic exhibition to explore the artistic achievements of Native women. Its presentation at SAAM’s Renwick Gallery will include about 80 artworks dating from ancient times to the present and ranging from sculpture, time-based media, photography, textiles, and decorative arts. At the core of this exhibition is a firm belief in the power of the collaborative process. A group of exceptional Native women artists, curators, and Native Art historians have come together to generate new interpretations and scholarship of this art and their makers, offering multiple points of view and perspectives to enhance and deepen understanding.

The exhibition is organized by Jill Ahlberg Yohe, associate curator of Native American Art at the Minneapolis Institute of Art and Teri Greeves, an independent curator and member of the Kiowa Nation. An advisory panel of Native women artists and Native and non-Native scholars provided insights from a range of nations.

The presentation at SAAM’s Renwick Gallery is the third stop on a four venue national tour for the exhibition. In addition to Minneapolis and Washington, DC, the exhibition will be on view at the Frist Art Museum in Nashville and the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa.


Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists is organized by the Minneapolis Institute of Art. The exhibition has been made possible in part by a major grant from the Henry Luce Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.

The presentation at the Renwick Gallery is made possible by the Provost of the Smithsonian and Jacqueline B. Mars.

The National Endowment for the Humanities logo in black with a green circular form.
The Minneapolis Institute of Art logo in black.
The Henry Luce Foundation logo in black.

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