Mary Jewett Pritchard (American). Siapo. paint on bark cloth. Gift of J. Grant Armstrong. 2012.284.

Mary Jewett Pritchard (American). Siapo. paint on bark cloth. Gift of J. Grant Armstrong. 2012.284.

Collection Highlights

Asmat artist

Bis Memorial Pole

Asmat artist, Bis Memorial Pole, 20th century. Wood, fiber, and paint; 128 x 9¾ x 28¾ in. Denver Art Museum: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. George G. Anderman, 1991.976

Baining artist

mask, dance
Baining artist. mask, dance. 20th century. Funds From Robert Houston And United Bank. 1988.36.



Marquesan artist, Earring, about 1875. Tortoise shell, porpoise teeth, and glass beads; 3 ½ x 3 in. Denver Art Museum: Anonymous Gift, 1952.734

Maori artist

Canoe Prow

Maori artist, Canoe Prow, about 1800. Wood and abalone; 15 7/8 x 7 x 42 in. Denver Art Museum: Native Arts acquisition funds, 1949.4464

Korewori River artist

Yipwon Spirit Figure
The tall, carved figure is from the Korewori River region of New Guinea. The artist has simplified the human figure into a series of projecting, hooklike shapes. The head features a beard terminating in a sharp point. Above the head, a cap with a comblike tassel curves forward to protect the entire sculptural framework. In the torso area, semicircular shapes carved in concentric patterns surround and protect a jagged phallic projection. The figure, carved from a single piece of wood, is probably an abstract representation of a hunting spirit.
Korewori River artist. Yipwon Spirit Figure. mid 1800s. cowrie shells and pigment on wood. Gift of Joan and George Anderman. 2001.157.


Malagan figures
This sculpture was made by an artist on the island of New Ireland, Papua New Guinea, for use in an indigenous Malagan ceremony. The entire surface is covered with brilliantly colored geometric designs that serve to unify the three parts of the composition: the central fish and the two male human figures attached to its side and snout. The fish is carved from a single piece of wood, and open projections form its mouth and dorsal fins.

Papua New Guinea artist, Malagan Figures, mid-1900s. Wood, paint, fiber and shell; 88 x 12 x 41 in. Denver Art Museum: Gift of Joan and George Anderman, 2001.177A-C

Maori artist


Maori artist, Cloak, late 1800s. Feathers and flax; 35 x 45 in. Denver Art Museum: Native Arts acquisition funds, 1955.347


Mary Jewett Pritchard

Mary Jewett Pritchard (American). Siapo. paint on bark cloth. Gift of J. Grant Armstrong. 2012.284.

Iatmul artist

Orator's Stool
Iatmul artist. Orator's Stool. 1900s. wood, raffia, feathers, cowrie shells, shell, and paint. Gift of the Center for International Cultural Exchange. 1983.175.

Hawaiian artist

Bark cloth

Hawaiian artist, Bark cloth, 18th century. Bark and pigment; 25 x 23 in. Denver Art Museum: Museum Exchange with University Museum, 1959.245

See More Oceanic Art

Browse objects from the Oceanic art collection in our online collection.


Companion to Oceanic Art at the Denver Art Museum. Blomberg, Nancy J. Denver: Denver Art Museum, 2014.

Organized by the four major regions of Oceania (Polynesia, Melanesia, Micronesia, and Australia), the 100-page book contains 80 color photos, including close-ups that allow the reader to see incredible details that would not be visible even in the gallery.

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