October 22, 2016 through January 16, 2017

The Art of American Dance is the first major traveling exhibition to explore American visual art related to the many forms of dance. This exhibition features 90 works, ranging from realistic to abstract, by iconic and wide-ranging artists such as John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt, Robert Henri, William Merritt Chase, Nick Cave, and Faith Ringgold.

The Art of American Dance examines dance-inspired paintings, prints, sculptures, and photographs from the 1830s to the recent past—from dance in Native American cultures to ballroom dancing, to Jitterbug, swing, modern dance, and others. Exploring the variety of ways Americans embrace dance as part of everyday life, as well as the diverse forms of professional dance, including burlesque, flamenco, and classical ballet, the exhibition highlights the central place dance has held in American culture and in the imagination of American artists.

Artists did not merely represent dance; they were inspired by dance to think about how Americans move through space, share culture, and express themselves through movement. Visitors can also examine the American history of race, gender, ethnicity, and class through the lenses of dance and the visual arts.

Check out upcoming performances by featured artists, highlighting the intersection between art and dance.

Press Links

Wall Street Journal: Dancing with the Art Stars
Associated Press (The Big Story): Art of American Dance at Crystal Bridges
Arkansas Democrat Gazette: Exhibition on American Dance Waltzes into Crystal Bridges

This exhibition has been organized by the Detroit Institute of Arts. Support has been provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, and an ADAA Foundation Curatorial Award and the Association of Art Museum Curators.

MUSIC


The Music of American Dance:
A Party Playlist on Spotify

One way to get people to dance is to turn on the music.

In the works of art in this exhibition, we see people playing guitars, banjos, drums, and other instruments, showing that music and dance have long been linked.

Enjoy this party playlist, which highlights some of the major dance hits from the 1940s to now.

VIDEO PLAYLIST


Dance Performance and Popular Culture: A YouTube Playlist

See some of the most iconic dance scenes ever captured on film, along with some you may not know, including artistic works from respected dancers and choreographers.

Boundaries can blur between a dance performance and a social dance, especially when dancers are put in front of a camera.

Starting in the mid-twentieth century, elaborate dances—principally in movie musicals and live television performances—began to be captured regularly on film. Advances in technology now allow us to stream hundreds of thousands of dance videos with ease.

Although many amazing dancers and dance scenes simply could not fit on this list, the diversity of styles and performances included here shows that American dance reflects a complex and ever-evolving blend of cultural influences.



The Art of American Dance Multi-Media Guide

This multi-media tour features historical and contemporary video clips of many of the dances represented in The Art of American Dance, as well as commentary by fourth-generation Isadora Duncan dancer Alice Bloch, and Stace Treat, Interpretation Manager at Crystal Bridges.



The Art of American Dance Blog

December 2, 2016
An etching by Troy Kinney, from his book The Etchings of Troy Kinney, 1929.

Dance in Crystal Bridges Rare Books

Now through January 16, 2017, Crystal Bridges is hosting the Art of American Dance, a […]
November 3, 2016
Alice Bloch

Alice Bloch: Dancing Isadora Duncan

Friday evening, November 4, dance scholar and Isadora Duncan dancer Alice Bloch will give a […]
October 27, 2016
Walt Kuhn, (1877 - 1949)
"Dragoon," 1947
Oil on canvas
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Happy Birthday Walt Kuhn

Today we celebrate the birthday of artist Walt Kuhn and his uniquely American Modernist style. […]


Sponsored at Crystal Bridges by Avis Bailey, Blakeman’s Fine Jewelry, Meza Harris, HOWSE, and JP Morgan.



This exhibition has been organized by the Detroit Institute of Arts. Support has been provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, and an ADAA Foundation Curatorial Award and the Association of Art Museum Curators.