Laughter & Resilience: Humor

in Native American Art

Past exhibition
May 22 – August 8, 2021

Laugh, smile, and understand how humor is expressed in a variety of ways in Native American cultures in this exhibition curated by the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian in Santa Fe, N.M.

Experience the comedy in Indigenous art

What is it: For centuries, humor has played a vital role among many Native American tribes as an important form of artistic expression. Native artists past and present employ humor in a wide variety of ways, using a range of artistic media. Laughter is universally appealing and relatable. We all want to laugh and be less worried or serious. Laughter or rather, the opportunity to do so, is attractive or desirable. Laughter and Resilience: Humor in Native American Art inspires an appreciation and better understanding of Native Art through the introduction of the concept of how humor, telling jokes, being light-hearted, and taking a less serious approach to life (especially during times that require or have required acts of resiliency), is central to many Native American groups.

A majority of the artists in this exhibit are from Arizona, New Mexico, and Oklahoma, as well as California; with a few additions of artworks from the Eiteljorg’s permanent collection. Representations from the Ojibwe, Lakota, and Haudenosaunee will be included, thus rounding out a more North American Native perspective on humor.

This exhibition is curated by the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian in Santa Fe, N.M.

Curated by:

Plan your visit to see this exhibit

Please share your experience with us on social by using #EJNativeHumor

How to visit: See exhibit Mon-Sat 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Sun 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Admission: Exhibit is included with the cost of museum admission

You’re invited!


Join us for a special 30th Anniversary Party, which will kick off a yearlong celebration at the museum.


Thank you to Our Contributors


With Additional Support Provided By:

Call for Community Art

NOUN: 1. A combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form
that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight. (Oxford English Dictionary)

A Sense of Beauty
As a part of the museum’s 30th anniversary celebration, you (and everyone else you know) are invited to create artwork inspired by the theme, Beauty. Artwork will be on display in conjunction with the exhibition, A Sense of Beauty, which opens March 9. So get out your paints, pencils, tablets or whatever medium you choose and create some art! (Public artwork will be hung within ten days of receipt after March 9, 2019 and be on display through August 4, 2019.)

Criteria: artwork must be original and inspired by the theme Beauty
2-D only; 4” x 4” size (unframed)
a signed consent form must accompany the entry

Send your entry to:
Public Programs
Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art
500 West Washington Street
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204-270

Please download the consent form by clicking here, fill it out and include it with your submission.

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