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The Dennos Museum Center
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OVERVIEW

The Dennos Museum Center houses a collection of nearly 3,000 works of art. Approximately 1,600 works are prints and sculptures made by the Inuit people of the Canadian Arctic, Greenland, and Alaska. Other holdings include a diverse collection of painting, sculpture, prints, and photography. Significant collections include contemporary works by Michigan artists, 19th and 20th century American and European graphic art, and 20th century Great Lakes Indian and Canadian Indian art.

In 2018, The Richard & Diana Milock Exhibition Wing opened with almost 10,000 square feet of space to exhibit the Dennos Museum Center's permanent collection. These galleries undergo regular rotation of permanent collection works several times each year.

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SIGNIFICANT COLLECTIONS

INUIT ART COLLECTION

The Dennos Museum Center’s collection includes one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of Inuit art and research catalogs in the United States. Established in the 1960s by Bernie Rink, then director of the Osterlin Library at Northwestern Michigan College, Mr. Rink grew the collection to 500 works through donations and annual purchases. With the opening of the Dennos Museum Center in 1991, the collection was moved to its new home. In 1995, Philip Power donated over 200 works from his father Eugene’s collection. The Power Family Inuit Gallery was named in recognition of this gift and Eugene Power’s involvement in bringing Inuit art to the United States. The Dudley and Barbara Smith Wing for Inuit Art was built in 2017 and represents the Smith family’s longtime support of Inuit art and patronage of the Dennos Museum Center.

Today, thanks to many collectors and supporters, the Inuit art collection includes works from master artists like Kenojuak Ashevak, Pitseolak Ashoona, Kananginak Pootoogook, Pudlo Pudlat, Judas Ullulaq, and Jessie Oonark. Celebrated 21st century artists include Shuvanai Ashoona, Annie Pootoogook, Ningeokuluk Teevee, and the Ruben brothers: David Ruben Piqtoukun and Abraham Anghik Ruben. With shared traditions and continually innovative approaches, these artists express the culture and experiences of the Inuit people—past, present, and future.

CANADIAN WOODLAND COLLECTION

In the mid-1970s, Northwestern Michigan College exhibited fine art prints by many contemporary Woodland artists of the time. Bernie Rink, then Director of NMC’s Osterlin Library, acquired 100 works for the college art collection, making it the second largest collection in the Dennos Museum Center's holdings. Notable artists include Norval Morrisseau, Carl Ray, Roy Thomas, Sam Ash, Jackson Beardy and Daphne Odjig, among others. 

JOZSEF DOMJÁN (1907-1992)

Born in Budapest in 1907, Jozsef Domján spent his early years as an engine fitter and foundry worker. During the Depression he toured several European countries on foot, covering 10,000 miles and earning his way by selling paintings and sketches. Many of Domján's woodcuts in the Dennos collection reflect his love of nature, such as: Azure Cloud, 1978 color print; and Deer Magic, 1978 black and white print.