Denver Art Museum
Since its founding in 1893, the Denver Art Museum has amassed more than 68,000 works of art, one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of world art between Chicago and the West Coast. Internationally known for its holdings of American Indian art, the Museum has also assembled an extensive group of pre-Columbian and Spanish Colonial art objects now considered one of the finest collections anywhere. Other areas of concentration are European and American painting and sculpture, architecture, design and graphics, modern and contemporary, Asian, African, Oceanic, western American and textile art.
In 1971, the Museum opened the remarkable 24-sided, two-tower North Building by architect Gio Ponti in collaboration with James Sudler Associates of Denver. Over one million faceted, shimmering gray tiles, developed by Dow Corning, provide cladding for the radical structure. The Denver Art Museum remains the only building in the United States completed by this important Italian master of modern design.
This bold tradition continued with the Frederic C. Hamilton Building, situated directly south of the North Building, designed by architect Daniel Libeskind. With its opening in October 2006, the Denver Art Museum gained 146,000 square feet, nearly doubling its former size. The complex features substantially more gallery space for the presentation of its collections and special exhibitions. Libeskind’s dramatic design, referential to the Ponti building, reflects not only the mountain peaks that provide a powerful backdrop for this spirited city, but the intricate and geometric rock crystals found in the foothills of the Rockies.
Important works of art in their own right, the buildings by Ponti and Libeskind provide dynamic ways to experience the Museum’s extensive and diverse collection, which reflects the region and provides innovative ways for the community to experience cultures from around the world. At the heart of the Denver Art Museum is the visitor experience—how one sees and engages with its buildings and its collections, and participates in the Museum’s pioneering educational initiatives.