Current Exhibitions

Freeman Vines: Hanging Tree Guitars

Freeman Vines: Hanging Tree Guitars

September 1 – November 27, 2022


Opening Reception is Thursday, September 1, from 5:00 – 7:00 pm
Hors d’oeuvres will be served. 

Tim Duffy lecture October 20, 6:00 pm

Tim Duffy is the founder of the Music Maker Relief Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works to preserve and support our nation’s musical traditions by improving the lives of the artists who make them. The Foundation concentrates on the essential musical traditions of the South: blues, gospel, string band, folk, Native American, and singer-songwriter. The foundation has supported Freeman Vines’ work and partnered with him to produce the Hanging Tree Guitars book and exhibition.

To meet Freeman Vines (b. 1942) is to meet America itself. An artist, a luthier, and a spiritual philosopher, Vines’s life is a witness to the truths and contradictions of the American South. He remembers the hidden histories of the eastern North Carolina land on which his family has lived since enslavement. For more than fifty years Vines has transformed materials culled from a forgotten landscape in his relentless pursuit of building a guitar capable of producing a singular tone that has haunted his dreams. From tobacco barns, mule troughs, and radio parts he has created hand-carved guitars, each instrument seasoned down to the grain by the echoes of its past life.

In 2015, Vines befriended photographer and folklorist, Timothy Duffy (b.1963) and the two began to document the guitars and Vines’s life story. Soon after, Vines acquired the lumbered boards of the tree on which Oliver Moore was lynched in 1930. Confronting the silences and memories of this dark episode in his local history brought Vines face to face with the toll of racial terror on his own life and work.

Freeman Vines is a self-taught luthier and sculptor born in Greene County, North Carolina. He has worked as a sharecropper, auto-body repair man, and luthier. The first public display of his work was in February 2020 as part of the group show We Will Walk – Art and Resistance in the American South at the Turner Contemporary in the UK.

Timothy Duffy has been recording and photographing traditional artists in the South since the age of 16, when he became interested in ethnomusicology. Duffy earned an MA from the Curriculum in Folklore at UNC and lives in Hillsborough, NC. Duffy’s photographs are in permanent collections of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Morris Museum of Art, and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.

Contact the Museum to schedule school tours.

Educational Essays


Installation Images

Timothy Duffy, Freeman Vines, Hanging Tree Guitars, No. 2, 2015.
Pigment print, 40 x 40 inches.

Installation View

Freeman Vines, Death Mask, 1980. Wall Mount, 42 x 2.5 x 8.5 inches.

Listen to the album for free. Click the image below.

Sponsored in part by BNSF Railways and Humanities North Dakota.
Individual Sponsors

$100 – 499
Dawnn Morken

Richard Tsong-Taatarii. Covid-19: Standing Rock Fights Back

Richard Tsong-Taatarii. Covid-19: Standing Rock Fights Back

September 1 – November 27, 2022


Opening Reception is Thursday, September 1, from 5:00 – 7:00 pm
Drinks and hors d’oeuvres served.

Richard Tsong-Taatarii is a Staff Photographer for the Minneapolis Star Tribune and and a documentary photographer of his own Picture Poems. In 2018, Tsong-Taatarii was awarded 2nd place in the World Press Photo contest for his photograph Not My Verdict. In 2019, Tsong-Taatarii was part of the Museum’s group exhibition “Power/Empower,” with his black and white photographs of Pine Ridge and Standing Rock. That exhibition was funded by the Windrose Fund. COVID: Standing Rock Fights Back, documents the devastation Covid-19 had on Standing Rock, the work of public health officials, how people adapted, and what they did to stay healthy over this extended period. The exhibition will be entered into the Museum’s Permanent Collection upon closing.

Behind the Bylines

From reporting on the Black Lives Matter movement in the U.S. to Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, photojournalist Richard Tsong-Taatarii has captured a multitude of moments, each photograph made with the goal of impact.

“You want to make images with heart, where people feel or they can sort of get a hint of what a person’s going through in the image, and that’s what you want to do,” said Tsong-Taatarii. “It’s to have that impact.”

“Everyone’s a photographer. Everyone’s a writer, but if you want to be a good photographer or writer, you want to create something that has impact, that makes you feel something.”

Of Chinese and Malaysian descent, Tsong-Taatarii immigrated to the U.S. with his family when he was 10 years old, something he feels has helped with his work.

“As an immigrant, I feel like even though I came at an early age, you’ll always be an outsider in some ways, even if you don’t have an accent or people think you’re born here,” said Tsong-Taatarii. “This is helpful as a photographer in some ways because you can identify with the ‘Other.”

According to Tsong-Taatarii, he did not seriously consider photography until several years after college. Prior to photography, Tsong-Taatarii tried subjects such as business, South Asian studies and architecture.

Tsong-Taatarii was drawn to photography after a backpacking trip in Europe that allowed him to explore art.

“One of the things that probably inspired me was, it would seem like I would go to a museum once a day, and I just enjoyed looking at artwork and paintings, and it kind of inspired me in terms of composition and things like that,” said Tsong-Taatarii.

In tandem with art, Tsong-Taatarii views photography as a form of poetry, which is reflected in his website titled, “A Picture Poet.”

“I just like how a single image can sum up a lot of feelings and it can crystallize a lot of things, a single image,” said Tsong-Taatarii. “I just thought photography can be poetic, so I’ve had (the name) for a long time.”

“I wasn’t thinking that I’m the picture poet. I’m just one amongst many.”

After studying photojournalism in graduate school at Ohio University, Tsong-Taatarii started working for the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper, where he has been for the past 18 years. Tsong-Taatarii’s work focuses primarily on general news and protests, including the Black Lives Matter movement and life at the Pine Ridge Reservation.

“My goal is always to make an image that is relatable in terms of the heart of the issue, like how is it impacting an individual?” said Tsong-Taatarii. “There will be some people in the protest who are super passionate about the issue and they will cry, they will scream, and so I really go and try to capture that and the scale of it also, I try to do that. I try to get really close to the most intense person.”

“One of my skills is I don’t mind getting into someone’s space. I don’t want to offend them. I try to talk to them also because I’m trying to create an intimate image in a very public space.”

The “Lakota Resistance: the Bison, the Horse, and the River” is Tsong-Taatarii’s personal project. It is a documentary that includes coverage of the protests on Standing Rock and the Pine Ridge Reservation.

“The shoot was five years and it’s still ongoing,” said Tsong-Taatarii. “It’s probably going to be a lifetime project.”

Rich Tsong-Taatarii’s photography from Standing Rock is a potent reminder that, although the Lakota Standoff is not in the headlines much anymore, the people he photographed and the sacred natural resources they are trying to protect have not gone away.

Hege Library Art Gallery Director and Curator Terry Hammond in an email interview with The Guilfordian.

Installation Images

A hand made sign outside of Bullhead, SD reminds tribal members to
mask up and use gloves when possible.

The death of husband and wife Jesse “Jay” and Cheryl Taken Alive delivered a major blow to the clan and the Standing Rock Tribe. They were buried on a family plot south of Cannon Ball, N.D., overlooking the Missouri River.

Sisters Antania and Anaya Mellette, left and right, grieve for their uncle Jared Mellette. The two sisters were especially close to Jared who died in a Minneapolis hospital at the age of 24 of COVID-19 complications. Photographs made with the consent of the family.

Shannon Brown helps deliver evening meals for the Boys and Girls Club in Standing Rock Reservation in McLaughlin, S.D. The meals are essential in helping minimize food
insecurity in the villages on the reservation.

Waniya Locke, a Lakota language teacher and activist, makes an elderberry syrup, which she delivers free of charge to tribal members suffering or trying to prevent the onset of COVID-19 symptoms. Locke fundraises through the internet for the ingredients to make the homeopathic remedy.

Individual Sponsors

$500 and above
Martin Brown

Past Exhibitions

Either Side of the Divide: New Paintings by Christopher W. Benson and Sue McNally

June 2 - August 20, 2022 Opening Reception is Thursday, June 2, from 5 – 7 pm.Christopher and Sue will be speaking.Drinks and hors d'oeuvres served.  Christopher Benson and Sue McNally both hail originally from Rhode Island but have also spent long periods living,...

Jim Dow: Twenty Years in North Dakota

April 7 - May 22, 2022   Lecture Thursday, April 21, 6 pm, followed by a reception with the artist.This event is free and open to the public. Join us on a twenty-year travel across North Dakota with Boston-based photographer Jim Dow. In 1981, the Museum...

From the Collection of Anonymous II

February 27 - May 22, 2022   The North Dakota Museum of Art announces the opening of From the Collection of Anonymous II, ongoing gifts from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous. Museum directors make lifelong friends. NDMOA’s Director Laurel Reuter has made...

Uff Da: The Folk Art of Emily Lunde

February 26 - March 30, 2022   Touring the state of North Dakota through the Museum's Rural Arts Initiative. Emily Wilhelmina Dufke Lunde was born in northern Minnesota and, as she says, "with a handle like that you had to have a sense of humor." Laurel Reuter...

From the Collection of Anonymous

Museum Directors make lifelong friends. Museum Director Laurel Reuter has made many close friends in her 50-year career. One friend, who wishes to remain anonymous, has taken a particular interest in the Permanent Collection, believing rich collections of art deeply enrich communities.


Tom McNemar was at the British Museum in London researching his dissertation topic when his life became waylaid by cases of African art.

Stuart Klipper: The World in a Few States

I have made photographs in all 50 states; scoping out the lay of the land and the hand of man — and whatall may have been wrought in places where each overlay: the fruit of enterprise, and, the sullied tumult. Evidence of the land we’re on and the world we find ourselves in; where we’re at and who we are; what we’ve done; and, where we can go.

Carol Hepper: Remembering Friends

The landscape of South Dakota, remote, yet beautiful, has left its mark on Carol Hepper, a native of the state. It has elicited from her an extraordinarily poetic response in the form of a body of work that unites respect for the past and with a new means of expression.

Todd Hebert: Four Paintings

July 7 - July 12, 2021 Todd Hebert received his BFA from the University of North Dakota and his MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. He has been a fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown, MA; and the Core Residency Program at the Glassell...

Brad Bachmeier: Conservation Through Clay

The North Dakota Museum of Art will open Conservation Through Clay by Fargo-based artist Brad Bachmeier on Sunday, March 21. There will be no opening reception, but the artist will record a talk which the Museum will upload to YouTube and post on social media. The Museum will open weekdays 9 – 5 pm, and Sundays 12 – 5 pm, starting March 15, 2021.

Edward and Nancy Kienholz: A Selection of Works From the Betty and Monte Factor Family Collection

The late Ed Kienholz and his deceased wife Nancy Reddin Kienholz, the Factor’s one-time neighbors, are celebrated for their installations and sculptural assemblages that are controversial, graphic, and deeply critical of the politics of mid-twentieth century life in Europe and the United States.


We asked that you submit images of what you are doing to be creative in this time of social distancing, and you answered our call. We are honored to receive an outpouring of images coming from around the world.

Installation View


A Multi-media celebration of Native American life and art pulled from the Museum’s Permanent Collection and from artists from around the country.


All the matriarchs in Lynne Allen’s family were members of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in South Dakota. All were sent away to government boarding schools, to realign their cultural heritage.

Staff Favorites 2020


Commissions & Collections

October 27, 2019 - January 19, 2020 Quietly and without much fanfare the North Dakota Museum of Art has been building a permanent collection that is becoming its greatest strength. With minimal financial resources the collection has evolved out of its exhibition...

Power : Empower

April 24- July 7, 2019 Who owns the power or controls it? Who has the power and can it be shifted, negotiated. Nature pitted against Humans is one of the most important power struggles of our time. Wealth against Poverty is another. People against Government....

The Museum Collects

Works from the Museum’s collection.

This Week Only 2019

This Week Only is the Museum’s most popular exhibition in our own region. Imagine a panoply of art from the Red River Valley and surrounding plains and woodlands; walls covered with works springing from our own place to brighten our lives in the dead of winter.

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