MIA curator Joe Horse Capture moves to Smithsonian

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts is losing a great curator.

Joe Horse Capture, Associate Curator of Native American Art, is moving on to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, effective May 20. His last day at the MIA is May 15.


On the left: Joe Horse Capture with his weapon of choice – an iPad. Photo by Will Wilson

On the right: Joe’s great-great grandfather, Horse Capture, shown with a rifle. Photo by Edward Curtis

Horse Capture, who has been at the MIA since 1997, has helped raise the profile of Native American art, acquired several important pieces for the collection, and for many years mentored the museum program “Young People’s Ofrendas: Expressions of Life and Remembrance.”

Horse Capture says for a Native curator like himself, the NMAI is nirvana.

“It’s an incredible opportunity, and will allow me to work at a national level on exhibitions, expanding the collection, researching their collection, and developing relationships with Native communities all across the country. NMAI will allow me to work at a larger level with the worlds greatest collection of Native works in the world.

But I will miss the MIA and the great people here, and equally important, the Native American community here.”

Horse Capture will work at the NMAI’s Cultural Resource Center in Suitland, Maryland.

Horse Capture is a second generation museum curator; his father, George P. Horse Capture, recently retired from the NMAI.

This is the second time in recent months an MIA curator has been hired by the Smithsonian. In October of last year Cori Wegener joined the Smithsonian as a Preservation Specialist for Cultural Heritage.