Native Roots Spread at the Botanic Gardens

Following on the success of its Henry Moore exhibition, the Denver Botanic Gardens has staged another remarkable exhibit to introduce gardeners to the works of famed modernist sculptor, Allan Houser.

I had the chance to get a sneak peek of the new Native Roots, Modern Form exhibition at the Denver Botanic Gardens on Friday morning. The gardens were especially beautiful and provided the ideal setting to showcase these amazing works of art.

“Allan Houser was one of the singular major 21st Century American artists,” says David Rettig, curator of Allan Houser, Inc. “He created whole genres of artwork.”

Allan Houser was a Warm Springs Chiricahua Apache named Allan C. Haozous when he was born in 1914. His parents were held as prisoners of war for many years and Allan was the first child in his family born out of captivity.

He had a natural talent for art and it wasn’t until he was in his twenties that he received training while attending the Santa Fe Painting School. He eventually became the known for his major sculptural works that influenced thousands of students and shaped the way we view American Indian culture and traditions.

There are 24 sculptures placed throughout the gardens and I was impressed with how perfect they fit into the environment.

“It was a collaborative effort,” says Lisa Eldred, director of exhibitions and art at the DBG. “It was a marriage of place and sculpture.”

The exhibit will be on display now through November 13 and the gardens has a full program of exhibition-related films, lectures, tours, and other programs that build on the artwork and provide an opportunity to meet Allan’s two sons, Bob and Phillip Haozous.

The above image from the Native Roots, Modern Form exhibit is called “Sacred Rain Arrow.”


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