Denver: An Art Whirlwind

Art Privee
Jul 11, 2014 4:30PM

When one thinks of Denver, activities such as hiking, biking and fly-fishing come to mind. We must now add “great art viewing” to this list.

The Clyfford Still Museum

The real reason that I wanted to visit Denver was to see the Clyfford Still Museum. Many cities vied for his collection and Denver won the opportunity to exhibit and house this extraordinary body of work.

As the visitor enters the museum, one sees a well-produced video about Clyfford Still and the philosophy of the museum. The second floor is a firework of color, with room after room of monumental paintings. It is visually exciting and vibrant to the point of being almost overwhelming.

Still’s philosophy of viewing art is that one artist’s works should be seen together and not distracted by another artist’s art. This museum achieved that concept. The Clyfford Still Museum is an art jewel and should be a first stop for any visitor to Denver.

The museum stores 95% of Still’s paintings and works on paper. There are 500 painting yet to be unrolled and stretched. As Denver Governor John Hickenlooper expressed, “its presence in Denver will make the city an international destination for 20th century art.”

The Denver Art Museum

The Denver Art Museum is a big surprise. A new Daniel Libeskind-designed addition brings their architecture into the 21st Century. They can boast of a large collection of American Indian and Western Art as well as exciting temporary exhibitions.

Their gift shop is innovative and one of the best in the museum world. They constructed an art piece over the cashier area using one of the kits they sell, a genius marketing idea.

Sandy Skoglund’s “Fox Games,” is an ever-popular installation at the museum. “The American West in Bronze,” a spectacular traveling exhibition showing through August 31st, will also be seen in at the Metropolitan Museum in New York and the Nanjing Museum in China.

The Dikeou Collection

Brother and sister Devon and Pany Dikeou opened the Dikeou Collection in 1998. Housed on the fifth floor of commercial building in downtown Denver, and it is definitely worth a visit.

The Dikeou Collection shows room after room of cutting edge artists from their permanent collection. It fells like a maze, with art-filled rooms that will surprise you.

The Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art

The Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art highlights 20th Century art and design, and has more than 3,500 objects on view. Vance Kirkland was an abstract painter and obsessive collector. This collection is a window into the history of Colorado artists from 1880 to 1980. It stores Kirkland’s extensive collection of decorative arts, crafts, books and documents from that period. It is a small museum but full of treasures.

Denver Botanic Gardens

My last visit was to the Denver Botanic Gardens. Dale Chihuly revolutionized the studio glass movement, bringing it into the realm of fine art. His art installations have been shown in historic cities such as Venice and Jerusalem, as well as museums and garden throughout the world.

A walk through the Denver Botanic Gardens was exciting, seeing the integration of flowers, water features and art. This was a lovely way to end my art tour of Denver.

View more photos and read about many other fabulous art experiences at

Art Privee