Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Denver Art Museum - Part 1

When I was in Denver Colorado for a week in early December, in order to attend my grandson's first birthday party, my husband and I were able one afternoon to visit the beautiful Denver Art Museum, located on 13th Ave between Broadway and Bannock Street in the Civic Center Cultural Complex.  The museum is comprised of two buildings-- the North Building and the Frederic C. Hamilton Building. The 356,000-square-foot museum complex includes collection gallery space, three temporary exhibition venues, and the Lewis I. Sharp Auditorium. In addition to its extensive art collections, the museum has a family friendly environment, and has received critical acclaim for encouraging art appreciation through interactive activities.

This is one of the children's play areas in the museum, which encourages children to be creative through play activities and the use of art materials.

There are also comfortable "Discovery Libraries" for adults located within the museum; two examples can be seen below. Many wonderful art books and resource books were available on the libraries' bookshelves. If I were a resident of Denver I would definitely purchase a full year's membership, so that I could visit frequently and curl up on one of the couches, and read to my heart's content! (all photos will enlarge when clicked on)

The Denver Art Museum is known for its collection of American Indian Art, and has a comprehensive collection numbering more than 60,000 works from around the world. The museum has nine curatorial departments: architecture, design and graphics; Asian art; modern and contemporary; native arts (American Indian, Oceanic, and African); New World (pre-Columbian and Spanish Colonial); painting and sculpture (European and American); photography; Western art; and textile art.  The museum's motto is "Never the Same," as their exhibits change frequently to make viewing the collections more interesting for the frequent visitor.

One of the temporary exhibits we saw was called "Shape & Spirit" and consisted of more than 200 selections from the Lutz Bamboo Collection.

Examples of baskets made entirely from bamboo.

Another temporary exhibit that will run through April 4, 2010 is called "Embrace." For this exhibit the Denver Art Museum asked 17 artists to create one-of-a-kind installations for the Frederic C. Hamilton Building -- the angular building designed by renowned architect Daniel Libeskind.

The unique space was transformed  into amazing works of modern art, many of which were three dimensional.

"Fox Games" by Sandy Skoglund, 1989

Information from the Denver Art Museum website:

" Our American Indian art collection includes more than 18,000 art objects representing the heritage of all cultures and tribes across the United States and Canada. Recognized as one of the best of its kind in the United States, the collection spans more than 2,000 years of artistic creativity, from prehistoric times to the present.

The collection includes diverse artistic traditions such as Pueblo ceramics, Navajo textiles, Northwest Coast sculpture, basketry, Plains beadwork, and oil paintings, representing the full range of American Indian art styles. Over the past 80 years, these artworks have been featured both nationally and internationally in scholarly publications, innovative exhibitions, and educational programs."

"The Living Necklace"  Pawnee tribe. Circa 1870, refurbished in 1920.  Made with otter fur and the claws of an extinct species of grizzly bear.  It has a religious, artistic and historical legacy.

The Elk Tooth Dress.  It is the most valuable dress a Crow woman can own. connoting her wealth and prominence in the community.

It was hard for me to narrow down the many beautiful art works I saw to show just a few here.  The painting above is titled "Young Plains Indian" by James Bama, 1980.

"The Stagecoach" by Norman Rockwell, 1966

"Estes Park, Long's Peak" by Albert Bierstadt, 1877

  "The Open Range" by Herbert Dunton, 1914

Some examples of Western sculpture by Frederic Remington and furniture crafted from animal horn.

There is so much more of interest to show from the museum, so I will be back with Part 2  of the Denver Art Museum tomorrow, so that I can showcase some European and American Art, as well as Asian and Spainish Colonial Art, within their collection

I'm linking this post to Susan at A Southern Daydreamer blog's  weekly "Outdoor Wednesday" event.  Please visit Susan's blog today to see links to many other participating blogs.  Thank you Susan!

Part two can be read at this link.

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The Quintessential Magpie said...

Oh, Pat, how neat! Not only is the art amazing, but the colors!!! I know this must have been such a great trip for so many reasons, and I enjoyed seeing this. Thank you for sharing...

Happy Outdoor Wednesday to you!


Sheila :-)

Willow said...

Fascinating place, Pat! Thanks for the tour.

Regina said...

I love museum . Thank you so much for sharing.
I will come back to browse again:)

Cheers and regards.



Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

What a cool looking building! I've never seen photos of it. And the gallery spaces...I love it. The American Indian exhibits you've shown remind me of the National Museum of the American Indian in D.C. Not sure if you've been but as a history buff you would find it ammmmaaazing!

I can't wait to see more of the Denver museum.

Hootin' Anni said...

Oh yes!--------I lived and breathed the thin air of Colorado for over 40 years....Love this town!!


La Petite Gallery said...

This was so fasinating, That is
a beautiiful Museum.
What a fun trip you had.

Thanks for sharing. I would have never seen that if it were not for you.


Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

Having young children the thing that struck me most was that the kids are invited to climb! Love it!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

What a lovely museum. I've never been to Denver and I'm so glad you've taken your camera along so we can "go" with you.

Jenny said...

Oh, that reading area looks cozy and wonderful. Just think how fun it will be to take him to that play area next year! Loved the tour! And I got to stay cozy in my PJ's while I did it! Just perfect.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

What a great museum. I need to get to Denver. LOVED the Bierstadt painting. Who designed the building? It reminds me of Frank Gehry's work.

Annalisa said...

What a lovely photos!I love the art,thank you for sharing!
Have a lovely day!

supplies overflowing! said...

Hi Pat-
I love visiting places through your eyes and camera. It's almost as good as being there myself.
Happy 1st to Leo!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful place to visit. I liked the mushroom? painting on the left in one of your pics- looked very Alice in Wonderland.

The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford has a huge cape which belonged to Pochahontas's father in the 1600s. Like the elk tooth dress it has an attached decoration. I think it was shells.

PlantSomeRoots@Lakewood said...

Great vivid photos of the museum. Thank you for today's tour...
Living it up at Lakewood,

Rhonda @ Shellbelle's Tiki Hut said...

What a feast for the eyes this was. I was loving everything (especially the foxes at play) and then I reached the American Indian Collection and was blown away! The elk tooth dress was spectacular, funny when you see what denoted wealth in those days.

Loved it all and can't wait to see more tomorrow. Great post!

Rose said...

In answer to Ciao Chow Linda's question, the Denver Art Museum's Hamilton Building was designed by Daniel Libeskind. The North Building (which opened in 1971) was designed by Gio Ponti.

Beverly said...

What an outstanding and varied collection of art. I love museum outings. They are one of my favorite things to do.

My son is great about taking his son to museums. There was recently a Picasso exhibit here.

Vee said...

Looks like a wonderful museum. I employed my limited knowledge of art appreciation and looked for the diagonals and splashes of red. I was shocked by what I discovered in Rockwell's painting. (Don't recall ever seeing that one before.)

Kathy said...

Looks amazing Pat and quite a varied display. The American Indian collection is beautiful. hugs, Kathy. Happy OW.

Sara said...

When I was visiting Denver the "new" space was just opening. And the area that you show around the museum was full of people waiting for their time slot to go into the museum to see it for the first time.

I did not get to go - as you had to be there at 5 am to get a time stamp ticket and I did not know that in advance. I did get to go into the older part of the museum - and it was wonderful.

Had I been a permanent resident of Denver - there would be yearly pass in my possession.

Thanks for the photos - Now I know can see what I missed...

Joyce said...

I like the fox games! How wonderful. I have not been to this museum so I appreciate the photos. We went to see Leonardo's exhibit this Sunday and I posted the outside exhibit as inside photography is not allowed.

Grace said...

Thank you so much for a fabulous tour! It looks like it was so much fun. What a truly wonderful time you had seeing things and spending wonderful times with your family especially your grandson! You must be planning your next visit! Hugs Grace

mbkatc230 said...

What a gorgeous museum! I love the varied collections they have. And while my preference is for modern art, I could stand and look at the Bierstadt all day. One of my very favorite artists, his use of light is just amazing. Thanks for the trip, can't wait for part 2! Kathy

Claudia said...

Beautiful! I've only driven through Denver (rush hour). Next time I must make a stop. There's some very impressive art!

mmcdermott-lewis said...

A colleague passed your post on to me. I loved seeing the museum through your eyes. I have to 'fess up that I too love curling up on the Discovery Library couches and reading (albeit for work)!

Melora/DAM Education Department

Lisa's RetroStyle said...

Great museum! Those chairs are crazy cool. As always, a wonderful post Pat!! Thanks.

I love your new banner:D

The Gathering Place said...

What an interesting museum. I loved the native American things. I am also going to try your Lemon Tart. Looks delicious!

Kathleen said...

WHAT! You left NY! :)

Great shots..looks like a wonderful museum..
Hope you little gchild had a wonderful birthday!

Annesphamily said...

I love the new art museum! It is 20 minutes from my home! When my kids were small we spent a lot of Saturday's at the original museum! It is such a neat place to visit! Glad you enjoyed your visit with the cute grand baby! Your blog is always a joy to visit. Thanks for sharing.

Junie Moon said...

What a fantastic museum. The exhibits look awesome. I'll have to check with my daughter and see if she's visited this museum yet. I love the Elks Tooth Dress.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Beautiful art museum, Pat. I would love to go there sometime. I love seeing Indian history.

Ebie said...

Oh Pat, you captured beautifully, almost all the contents of the museum! Gorgeous, simply gorgeous!

I enjoyed this post a lot!

Lily Hydrangea said...

wow! beautiful paintings Pat. That must have been a fun trip.
you know, you look awfully young to be a Grandma!

Sue said...

Denver is indeed a city with many things to offer. Haven't visited for many years. I lived in NM prior to moving to OH, and their cultural museums are great, also. Love visiting places with you!
hugs, Sue

Sea Witch said...

I adore visiting museums. Can get lost in them so easy. Native American pieces always touch my heart, they are so full of color and beauty. Really like the red scuptures and foxes. SEa Witch

Just a little something from Judy said...

Your photography is amazing! The colors and the clarity with which you captured each picture is beautiful! Thank you for sharing each and every picture with us. I liked the one of Estes Park since I spent time visiting that park. I look forward to part 2.

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