Artwork Details

Christopher Myers


Stained glass in lightbox
3 x 47 x 5 inches
Level 3
Accession Number
Museum Purchase
Image Copyright
© Christopher Myers

About the Artwork

Much of Christopher Myers’ artwork, like this stained-glass painting, highlights remarkable people who have been overlooked by history. This work, titled Wovoka, explores the likeness and legacy of the Paiute religious leader Wovoka who lived from about 1856 to 1932 in the Smith Valley area of Nevada. Wovoka taught that to bring his vision of resurrecting Paiute ancestors and removing European colonizers to pass, Native Americans must live righteously and perform a traditional round dance, known as the Ghost Dance.

The Ghost Dance movement was a response to the gradual destruction of Indigenous life and culture. The entire livelihood of the plains tribes revolved around the bison, which were nearly hunted to extinction. Tribal land was being seized at alarming rates and violence from settlers was increasing. The Ghost Dance itself was eventually banned, contributing to the United States’ systemic erasure of Native culture. Though his vision was never achieved, Wovoka succeeded in building a revolutionary movement that promoted Indigenous liberation and united tribes in a common cause. Myer’s stained-glass painting honors Wovoka’s tenacity, faith, and the hope of freedom for his people.