The Evolution of The ‘Burning Man Event’ – How A Legendary Nevada Gathering Evolved Into A Global Tourist Attraction

Lightmatter burningman

The story of how a legendary Nevada gathering evolved through collaborative ritual from humble counter-cultural roots on San Francisco’s Baker Beach into the world-famous desert convergence it is today comes together in “City of Dust: The Evolution of Burning Man.” 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.

Burning Man 2011 Victor Grigas temple IMG 4651

Organized by the Nevada Museum of Art, many items included are drawn from the archive collections of the Museum’s Center for Art + Environment. City of Dust: The Evolution of Burning Man opens July 1 and remains on view through Jan. 7, 2018 at the Nevada Museum of Art in downtown Reno. In the spring of 2018, the show will travel to the Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington DC.

Burning Man 2013 Coyote (10227012075)

Borrowing methods from anthropology and archaeology, City of Dust: The Evolution of Burning Man relies on primary source materials, such as archives, artifacts, journals, sketches and notebooks. These historical items trace the civic growth and development of Burning Man’s temporary city that arises annually in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. The exhibition also acknowledges Burning Man’s global impact and touches on what the future may hold for the recently-established Burning Man Project.

Burning Man 2011 Victor Grigas inside the temple IMG 4670

“This exhibition only begins to unravel the story of Burning Man,” said Ann M. Wolfe, Andrea and John C. Deane Family Senior Curator and Deputy Director at the Nevada Museum of Art. “Through City of Dust, the Nevada Museum of Art hopes not only to shine a light on this vibrant, participatory community, but also to illustrate how its radically experimental nature connects to the desert, and to the region of the Greater West.”

Burning Man aerial

To see the complete programming lineup for City of Dust, please visit

‘City of Dust: The Evolution of Burning Man’
July 1 – Jan. 7, 2018
Nevada Museum of Art
160 West Liberty Street
Reno, NV 89501, ( 775) 329-3333

First Thursday Burning Man Celebration
July 6  from 5 – 7 p.m.
Preview your playa persona, enjoy live music by Dingo Weasel, and view the Nautilus Submarine, 5:04, and Truck and Flux art cars.
$10 General
FREE Museum members

Members’ Premiere:
City of Dust and Art + Environment Exhibitions
Oct. 19 from 5 – 9 p.m.
The Special 2, a throwback 1980s rap group featuring Umar Rashid (Frohawk Two Feathers) and Micah James, and other surprises featuring the creative citizenry of Black Rock City, await.
FREE to Museum members

Video: Burning Man 

[Source: Nevada Magazine/Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs -/- Media Relations]
[Photo Credits: Photos and Video inserted by credits embedded]


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