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Southern Ute Cultural Center and Museum


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Current Exhibits

Welcome Gallery

Lummi Nation Bear Totem Pole.

2nd Level Welcome Gallery

Nuùchus: A Pictorial Journey
As Colorado’s longest continuous residents, the Ute’s have adapted and thrived throughout the years. These photographs taken around the turn of the 20th century, exhibit the fortitude and longevity of the Ute People. Each image showcases unique elements of Ute Culture. Examples of the Bear Dance, prominent Ute leaders, and intricate bead work can be found in the collection of photographs on display.

Permanent Gallery

Numi Nuuchiyu, We Are the Ute People: The story of the Ute people, from prehistory to modern times, is presented through photographic curtains, audio-visual presentations, interactive electronics, and life-size replicas, including a buffalo hide tipi, cabin, and school room. Six themes preside over the Permanent Gallery: welcome, long time ago, camp scene, reservation life, celebrating traditions, and current events.  Ute baskets, a new exhibit case addition, focuses on organic materials and Ute coil technique, resulting in unique designs from three Ute basketmakers. A children’s activity guide is available for this gallery.

KSUT Public Radio, Featuring 40 years 1976-2016: What started as a small tribal radio station focused on broadcasting information to tribal members in the Ute language has developed into a regional favorite: an NPR affiliate community station and a Native radio station with multiple programs. This exhibit showcases the history of “two stations under one signal”, and includes photographs, promotional items, posters, CD productions, and early newspaper clippings.

Past Exhibits

Exhibiting in the Temporary Gallery from April 5, 2019 to April 30, 2020 is The Inside Out: Visions from the Artist’s Mind. This exhibition is a look into the Southern Ute Museum’s permanent collection. The museum’s collection consists of an array of mixed media items, archival items, and objects while this space highlights ten Native artists and their contribution to fine art.

Southern Ute Veterans (Northeast Hall Alcove): Southern Ute tribal members have served in five military conflicts, including World War I, when Native Americans were not United States citizens. This exhibit highlights Southern Ute Veteran Raymond A. Baker who has served 30 years in the United States Navy. Items from Mr. Baker’s personal collection are on display from November 2018 to November 2019.

It Happened Long Ago, November 2018 – May 2019: This exhibit explores an innovative method of storytelling, while still reinforcing tribal customs. Each animal character encounters moralistic and didactic experiences. Imagery for each story is rendered by Jed Smith.

Riders of the West, Portraits from Indian Rodeo: On loan from the Center of the Southwest Studies, Fort Lewis College, are 60 black and white photographs from the Indian rodeo circuit, shown in its entirety for the first time. The exhibit includes large photographic curtains and rodeo gear from local cowboys.

Ute Chieftain Memorial Park: Created at the request of Tribal Chairman Clement Frost, this exhibit focuses on a monument for four prominent Ute leaders. Located on the second floor of the Welcome Gallery, this exhibit space provides a different perspective to the 60-foot timber-and-steel entry and the Circle of Life glass ceiling. Directions to the park and the monument are available.

Ute Seasons, January 2017 – December 2017, Welcome Gallery: Ute people linked times of the year with events and opportunities. This exhibit featured four cases of seasonal relevance. Spring recognized the Ute Bear Dance with a bronze statue of a Bear Dance Singer and a pair of men’s gauntlets, Summer showcased a girl’s cradleboard (brown) and two pine pitched water pitchers, Fall focused on a boy’s cradleboard (white) and a spear and a knife with beaded knife case, and Winter featured a large Ute basket and parfleche.

Southern Ute Bear Dance, May 2018 – September 2018. Photographs and graphics, complemented with objects from the Museum’s collection, highlight a spring and fall dance gathering unique to the Ute Tribes.

Mountain Lion!, May 2016 – September 2017, Temporary Gallery: Developed by the Center of Southwest Studies, Fort Lewis College, and the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife, this hands-on, family-friendly exhibit provided a comprehensive look at this mysterious predator.  The exhibit featured dioramas, sounds, fossil representation, artifacts, and video.

Winter Stories January 2018 – May 18, 2018, Welcome Gallery: Four Ute stories with Ute titles were condensed to approximately 500 words each. A background of stars, staff art, and items from the Museum collection helped tell the stories of Pkwa’n I’sa Kwa’nach: The Frog and the Eagle; Wa’ini Nuu Pavi’chiu: Two Indian Brothers; and Puni I’sa Yo’wo’ch Tu’ tugaa: The Race Between the Skunk and the Coyote. Karu Nag Panana’t: Stay in the Light, featured a print from an original painting by Southern Ute elder Russell Box, Sr.

Living with Wolves Photographic Exhibit, August 13, 2018 to November 30, 2018, 2nd Level Welcome Gallery:  This National Geographic exhibit offers you a rare glimpse inside the lives of wolves featured on 19 large-scale photographs accompanied with 14 text panels.  Exhibit was provided with support from the Rocky Mountain Wolf Project.