Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Anthropology

First Advisor

Christina Kreps

Second Advisor

Esteban Gómez

Third Advisor

Frédérique Chevillot


American Indian art, Artist residency, Critical museology, Decolonization, Fine arts museum, Self-representation


The Denver Art Museum’s Native Arts Artist-in-Residency Program is an inter-departmental project dedicated to the collaboration between the museum, artists, and visitors. The residency and the physical studio were established to formalize artist involvement in the museum. There is no written mission statement for the program, but visitor engagement is central to the organization of the program and experience of the artist. This thesis explores the question: What can the experiences of the artists and museum professionals involved in the Native Arts Artist-in-Residency program tell about the residency’s contribution to critical museology and decolonization? Through exploring the definitions of critical museology and decolonizing practices, examining the history of artist interventions, and identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the Native Arts Artist-in-Residence program, this thesis provides a discussion of the role a Native artist residency program plays in expanding democratization in museum spaces through self-representation and social practice art. This research found that the Indigenous perspective does not have to replace the curatorial view, but it can augment the contexts and themes that can make the art more relatable and alive for audiences. Both artists and curators are making compromises in practice. This type of program does not have the ability to influence the atmosphere of Indigenous inclusivity significantly outside the residency.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Madison Sussmann


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

139 p.


Museum studies