Warhol in Colorado

“Andy Warhol brought people together in ways that fueled their enthusiasm for art. His prowess at networking and finding commonalities inspired Denver University’s Myhren Gallery to create a show enriched by the enduring connections Warhol made when visiting Colorado in the late 70s and early 80s. Warhol’s use of photography was a central tool that enabled both his art and social relations. Warhol in Colorado features the collection of Warhol Polaroids and silver prints gifted to the University of Denver by the Andy Warhol Foundation in 2008. Images by Colorado photographers (John Bonath, Valere Harris Shane and Mark Sink) who photographed the artist in New York and Colorado in the 1980s, turn the camera on Warhol himself.

Complementing the photography are iconic hand-finished works by Warhol drawn from Colorado collections, such as complete sets of the 1972 Mao series and 1981 Myths series. Warhol’s prolific output of works relating to music is represented in screen prints of Mick Jagger, record album covers and magazines. Posters, works on video and assorted ephemera add further context of Warhol’s Colorado connections.”  Curators: Dan Jacobs & Rupert Jenkins.

Andy Warhol’s iconic Souper Dress


Kirkland Museum has loaned several objects, including a signed Campbell’s vegetable soup can label and the iconic Souper Dress.

Through March 13 2011.  Victoria H. Myhren Gallery, 2121 E. Asbury in Denver. 303.871.2846. www.du.edu/art/myhrengallery.html

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Kirkland shines on Denver’s Channel 4

We were thrilled when Greg Moody from Denver’s Channel 4 came to visit the Kirkland yesterday. He got quite a workout from seeing all 3,300 objects on view (yes, I think he looked at and counted every single one!). He especially seemed to enjoy the paintings in our very big elevator! Who ever said that traveling between floors should be boring? Come to the Kirkland to see what all the excitement is about. We’re open from 11AM-5PM Tuesday-Sunday with tours scheduled Wednesday-Saturday at 1:30PM.

Here’s a link to Greg Moody’s piece.


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Denver Design Council and CultureHaus at the Kirkland

We are just crazy about Denver Art Museum’s Design Council and CultureHaus, hip groups of young and young-at-heart art lovers who meet once a month to enjoy unique insights about art, see private exhibitions and meet other art enthusiasts. Denver Design Council and CultureHaus members met at Kirkland Museum on January 13th 2011 to view the Kirkland’s extensive collection of decorative art and to hear Hugh Grant (the Kirkland’s Founding Director) talk about “What is Modern.” CultureHaus members also enjoyed touring Kirkland Museum and visiting Vance Kirkland’s studio. Visit www.culturehaus.com for more information about CultureHaus membership. Visit http://designcouncil.denverartmuseum.org to find out more about becoming a member of Denver Design Council.

“How did Vance Kirkland paint all those dots?” Photo by Gary Stefanski

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Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays from our house to your house!

And…a reminder that we are open on Sunday, December 26th 2010 and Monday, December 27th 2010. Bring your out-of-town guests. While the turkey cooks (that usually takes hours), you can tour the museum—taking in Colorado’s historic and modernist art, a superb collection of 20th century decorative art and, of course, the works of Vance Kirkland, Colorado’s pre-eminent artist and beloved art teacher. Make sure to take in Kirkland’s historic studio (built in 1910-11 and the oldest commercial art building in Denver) where he taught and worked.

You’ll want to linger in the newly-installed Colorado Art Survey IV, Featuring the Denver Artists Guild (one of the oldest still-active fine art organizations in Colorado). Over half of the paintings—as well as photographs, lithographs and sculptures—in this show are by past members of the Denver Artists Guild. Many pieces have never been on public view.

Carved and painted trunk (mid 1920s) by Kathleen Vavra

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Holiday shopping made easy


You don’t have to put up with crowded shopping malls this Holiday Season. Get your shopping done early at Kirkland Museum’s gift shop which, happily, is having a sale from Friday, November 26th 2010 through Sunday December 5th 2010. Here’s the deal: Everyone gets 10% off all gift shop items; Kirkland Museum members get an additional 10% off non-consignment items.

There’s something for everyone! You can shop for the colorful (or frosty white) Kirkland dot glasses that were featured in the November/December issue of Colorado Homes & Lifestyles. Or buy the cutest little Van Briggle bunnies hand-crafted in gorgeous Arts-and-Crafts colors. You’ll love local potter Michael McDowell’s smooth white nest eggs and egg-shaped bud vases and the lacy-edged bowls by Nan McKinnell. Bob Smith and Connie Christensen’s pottery–great forms and rich colors–will please the collectors on your list.

Just for fun–take a look at the Wicked Witch door stops–right out of The Wizard of Oz. They are so cute–striped stockings and sparkly ruby slippers–and really do work. We have books and magazines for every interest group–painting, sculpture, architecture, pottery, collecting and, our favorite, “Guide to Easier Living,” by Russel and Mary Wright. And, you’ll want to take home “Santa and the Little Teddy Bear,” a magical Christmas story by Peter John Lucking (the lead designer of The Ellie Caulkins Opera House in Denver). It is a book that will be read and treasured for many Christmases to come.

Based on Vance Kirkland’s 1971 Open Sun Paintings, these glasses by artist Jeffrey Woods are hand etched and hand painted

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Mile High Bargain Fine Art Fair

You have great taste (of course you do!) but maybe not tons of money. Here’s an art sale that’s perfect for you. Quite simply…champagne-quality art on a beer budget.

Well known art dealers, Lee Ballentine and Norm Anderson, are hosting the final weekend of Denver’s favorite art event–the Mile High Bargain Fine Art Fair. It is truly the largest art estate sale ever held in Colorado. There are thousands of prints, paintings and sculptures by historic European, American and, especially, Colorado artists. And they are priced from just $2/each. The connoisseur on a budget (you!) can get all your Christmas shopping done in one day.

You’ll see western landscapes by Fremont Ellis, Gene Kloss (see below), dot paintings by Vance Kirkland (1904-1981) and works by Muriel Sibell Wolle, Arnold and Louise Ronnebeck and other Colorado and New Mexico painters. There are also old maps, including pieces from the original 1877 Hayden Survey of Colorado.

Gilmore Art Center
2119 Curtis Street in downtown Denver
Friday November 12th and Saturday November 13th 2010 from 11AM-6PM.
Sunday November 14th 2010 from noon to 5PM.
Contact Lee Ballentine (lee@galluphouse.org) for more information.

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Night at the Museums

Mark your calendars for Denver Arts Week–November 5-13th 2010.

It is so exciting–everything from Opera Colorado offering specially priced tickets to La Boheme at the Ellie Caukins Opera House,  the 33rd Starz Denver Film Festival, the Arvada Center’s celebrating the Mexican Bicentennial and the Mizel Museum’s JAAMM Festival. And lots and lots more events and exhibits. Many of Denver’s restaurants and hotels are getting in on the fun. Look for menu specials at area restaurants and “Make a Night of It” hotel rates. For more information, visit DenverArtsWeek.com.

Here at the Kirkland, we’re partnering with Bovine Metropolis Theater to bring art to life–Mad Men and Mod Women style. We’ll have actors recreating scenes inspired by Mad Men. We’ll have a 60s-style cigarette girl, a make over artist who’ll give your hair a 60s flip and (woo hoo!) Miss Modernism and (maybe) the two runners up and lots more….

And…we’ll have a scavenger hunt at Kirkland Museum for a chance to win fabulous prizes. We’re also participating in the Denver Arts Week Scavenger Hunt–big time! You can be entered to win prizes, including Southwest Airlines tickets!! All the information, rules and regs are on Visit Denver’s facebook page  facebook.com/VISITDENVER

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Vance Kirkland and Clyfford Still: Face to Face

Clyfford Still and Vance Kirkland

Hugh Grant (Director of Kirkland Museum) and Dean Sobel (Director of the soon-to-be-completed Clyfford Still Museum) will present a lively and entertaining talk about the surprising parallels (and some remarkable dfferences) in the lives of Vance Kirkland and Clyfford Still.

The artists were born just three weeks apart in 1904 and died a year apart (Still in 1980 and Kirkland in 1981). They were both teachers of art. They were  independent thinkers who created works of art that were innovative and controversial. Both were represented by prestigious New York galleries. Then, as each artist began creating works which were more substantive but, perhaps, did not quite capture the prevailing public taste, they were dropped by their respective galleries.

In 1947, both were invited to show their work at The Art Institute of Chicago’s important annual show.  Abstract and Surrealist American Art was the show that literally introduced Americans to abstract art. The list of other artists in the show reads like a Who’s Who of American art and includes: Josef Albers, Milton Avery, Herbert Bayer, Alexander Calder, Salvador Dali, Max Ernst, Archile Gorky, Hans Hofmann, Georgia O’Keeffe, Jackson Pollock, May Ray and Mark Rothko.

When: Tuesday, October 5th 2010. Doors open at 6pm. Talk starts at 6:30pm.

Where: The Chambers-Grant Salon in Kevin Taylor’s Restaurant at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.

The lecture is free. There will be a cash bar.

RSVP to 303-832-8576 x201 or mwright@kirklandmuseum.org

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Susan Saarinen talks with Bertha Lynn today!

Tune in to Denver’s Channel 7 at 11AM today (September 2, 2010) to hear Susan Saarinen talk with Bertha Lynn about her dad, Eero Saarinen, and about the show (The Furniture of Eero Saarinen: Designs for Everyday Living) that opens at the Kirkland tonight! From 5:30PM to 8PM. Fabulous furniture. Great stories. Lots of hors d’oeuvres (and those fabulous mini-cupcakes). Cash bar (members get their first drink free–one of the perks of membership but you can sign up at the door). Susan Saarinen will be at the party tonight. So will Miss Modernism. And many of your friends and neighbors. It will be a full house–so come early…and stay late.

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Magnificent Modernism Show

Kirkland Museum staff and volunteers had a fabulous time at last weekend’s Modernism Show seeing old friends and making new ones. One of the high points of the show was a visit to the Kirkland booth by the glamorous Miss Modernism 2010-2011 who told us she would be at the Eero Saarinen opening at the Kirkland Museum on Thursday, September 2nd 2010 (from 5:30-8PM). You’ll recognize her by her sash and tiara which she says she’s going to wear–day and night (ouch!)–for a whole year. Well, I’ll say this, she looks darned cute!

Miss Modernism 2010-2011–crowned at Denver’s Modernism Show

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