Denver Art Museum

March 9, 2014

in Museums and Galleries

Museum

Denver Art Museum
Denver, CO

William Penhallow Henderson, American, 1877–1943, 'Little Sister (The Chaperone)', about 1916

William Penhallow Henderson, American, 1877–1943
“Little Sister (The Chaperone)”, about 1916
Oil paint on canvas
From the Western American Art Collection
Courtesy of Denver Art Museum

A museum with remarkably extensive and varied collections, with distinctive holdings in Western American, Pre-Columbian and Spanish Colonial art, among others.

I was in Denver for a conference for several days and had a couple of opportunities to get to this great art museum. As well, I managed to get a peek, around the back of the Denver Art Museum, at the Clyfford Still Museum, devoted exclusively to the work of the twentieth-century abstract expressionist.

Sebastián Salcedo, 'Virgin of Guadalupe', Mexico, 1779, From the Spanish Colonial Art Collection

Sebastián Salcedo, “Virgin of Guadalupe”
Mexico, 1779
From the Spanish Colonial Art Collection
Courtesy of Denver Art Museum

The Denver Art Museum, a striking urban structure, with a new wing designed by noted architect Daniel Liebeskind in collaboration with Denver-based Davis Partnership Architects and opened in 2006, contains remarkably extensive collections of American Indian, Pre-Columbian, Western American and Spanish Colonial art, with collections of European and Asian art that are also very extensive.

Mask, Mexico, Teotihuacán, A.D. 1-700, 4 13/16 x 5 3/16 in., From the Pre-Columbian Art Collection

Mask
Mexico, Teotihuacán, A.D. 1-700
4 13/16 x 5 3/16 in.
From the Pre-Columbian Art Collection
Courtesy of Denver Art Museum

Its exhibits of contemporary art are also very good. The African gallery had a beautiful large piece by the contemporary sculptor El Anatsui who had a recent large exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. As well, there was an exhibition of some pieces by contemporary African-American artist Nick Cave who currently has a show at Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art.

Giuseppe Arcimboldo, Italian, 1527-1593,

Giuseppe Arcimboldo, Italian, 1527-1593
“Summer” (1572)
Oil paint on canvas
From the European Art Collection
Courtesy of Denver Art Museum

I went for two multiple-hour visits and barely got a chance to scan the collections. The Western American and Spanish Colonial collections were, in some ways, the most distinctive and striking because they are less frequently seen in East Coast museums. But when I wandered, as well, into the Asian, Pre-Columbian and American Indian collections, I was quite amazed at how extensive they also were.

– BADMan

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