In this article, we visit the American Heritage Gallery at Epcot’s American Pavilion. We’ll preview the current exhibit, ‘Creating Tradition: Innovation and Change in American Indian Art.‘
Epcot’s American Heritage Gallery is located in the American Pavilion of the World Showcase. Currently, the gallery is home to an exhibit featuring Native artifacts with contemporary pieces of American Indian Art.
When you enter the mansion, the American Heritage Gallery is located along the far left wall, past the rotunda. This exhibit is usually open daily from 9:00 a.m. through 9:00 p.m.
This article was updated on February 2, 2023.
Here are a few quick reference attraction details.
|American Heritage Gallery||Epcot Attractions|
America Pavilion at Epcot
While not a high priority, well worth
Creating Traditions at the American Heritage Gallery
Creating Tradition brings a mix of historical and modern-day Indian art representing Native Americans across the centuries. Collections from seven different regions of American Indian tribes are presented in the display.
Typically, most exhibits at the American Heritage Gallery change every couple of years. However, this exhibit debuted in 2018 and was updated in 2021 to add new pieces. Disney has an article about the changes here on the Disney Parks Blog.
That article details how the new American Heritage Gallery honors American Indian cultures and contributions. The Walt Disney Imagineering Collections Management team worked in collaboration with the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture (MIAC) in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) in Washington, D.C. to bring such an extraordinary collection to the American Adventure Pavilion.
Additionally, the article states how “they also continue to work closely with the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum, which is nestled inside the Seminole tribal community.”
Some of the featured artists in the Creating Tradition exhibit include:
- Loren Aragon (Acoma Pueblo, fashion designer)
- Glenda McKay (Ingalik-Athabascan, doll-maker)
- Juanita Growing Thunder (Assiniboine Sioux, from the Growing Thunder Family of Montana, doll-maker)
Here are a few photos from the exhibit. Each display highlights historical native artifacts and examples of cultural traditions from different American Indian tribes.
First, we have the tribes from the Southeast regions of the United States.
This geographic region includes Cherokees, Choctaws, Muscogees (Creeks), Seminoles, and their descendants.
This display features a Choctaw Man Shoulder Sash.
Next, we have the Southwest region featuring works from various native communities.
Here we have an Apache skateboard.
Douglas Miles was one of the first Native artists to paint on skateboards.
Below are a few examples of jewelry from the Zuni Pueblo People.
Here is a Pueblo Girls Jar by Jody Naranjo.
This sign shares how the pottery produced by 19 Pueblo communities has changed over the last 150 years from domestic kitchenware to tourist souvenirs to fine art.
Moving on, we have the Northwest Coast and Arctic geographic regions.
Contemporary works of American Indian Art include pieces made of glass.
This glass sculpture is called Raven and the Box of Daylight by Preston Singletary.
These dolls are wearing parkas made from dried seal intestines.
Native peoples in the Arctic were known for using every part of the harvested animal.
Here are a few pieces from the Great Basin and Plateau region.
This region includes Nevada, Utah, Idaho, and inland areas of Oregon and Washington. Tribes from this region include Ute, Shoshone, Nez Perce, and Salish peoples.
Some of the traditional native influences most of us can probably quickly identify are these moccasins and headdresses.
They are works of art.
A smaller collection toward the back of the room featured items from the California and Hawai’i regions.
Here we have the display for the Plains.
The Comanche Blackfeet Regalia from artist Jayne Myers was added to the exhibit in 2021.
Here is the opposite side of the display.
Lastly, we have the Eastern Woodlands region, which features various baskets.
Here are a few extra photos:
Overall, Creating Traditions is an enriching experience. If you have time, take a few minutes to walk through these installations featuring the work of contemporary native artists.
You can browse the exhibit while waiting for the next American Adventure attraction to begin. Or you could see it before or after a performance of the Voices of Liberty, who appear multiple times daily in the rotunda.
For similar attractions at Epcot, you might enjoy the following:
- Gallery of Arts and History
- Mexican Folk Art Gallery (Remember Me!)
- Impressions de France
- Canada Far and Wide CircleVision
You might also enjoy these other countries in the World Showcase:
Additionally, you may enjoy browsing our list of Disney Restaurant Reviews. It includes every single dining experience we’ve had to date at Disney. Specifically, we have guides for character dining at Disney World and Disney’s signature dining locations.
In the Comments
Have you had the opportunity to see the American Heritage Gallery at Epcot? What do you think of this exhibit?