City of Dust:
The Evolution of Burning Man

For the first time ever, explore the remarkable story of how the legendary Nevada gathering known as Burning Man evolved through collaborative ritual from humble countercultural roots on San Francisco’s Baker Beach into the world-famous desert convergence it is today. Never-before-seen photographs, artifacts, journals, sketches, and notebooks reveal how this temporary experimental desert city came to be—and how it continues to evolve.

This exhibition is organized by the Nevada Museum of Art.

Many of the items included are drawn from the archive collections of the Center for Art + Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art.

Engage on social media by using #CityofDustArchive.

Download the Press Release.

This exhibition was realized thanks to generous gifts from:

Lead Gift: Bently Foundation

Major Gift: Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority

Supporting Gifts: Maureen Mullarkey and Steve Miller; Eleanor and Robert Preger; The Private Bank by Nevada State Bank; Volunteers in Art of the Nevada Museum of Art

Additional Gifts: City of Reno; Jan and David Hardie

Media Gifts: KUNR Reno Public Radio; Reno News & Review

City of Dust will travel to the Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum March 30, 2018 – September 16, 2018 as part of their exhibition No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man.

Learn more about the exhibition by watching this documentary, also on view in the gallery:


Preparations for Burning Man, Black Rock Desert, 2000. Image courtesy Dusty Mikel

Welcome Banner, 1991, cotton and ink, Courtesy Michael Mikel

Black Rock City, 1996. Image Courtesy Michael Mikel

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