On a recent trip to Colorado, we knew we’d have some time in Denver, but weren’t sure what to do. When I checked out the Denver Art Museum website, I learned that the day we’d be there was coincidently Free Day at the museum, so we were definitely in!
A bit about the museum
The Denver Art Museum was founded in 1893 as the Denver Artists’ Club. While it’s had several homes over the years, its current location is one of the largest art museums between Chicago and the West Coast at 15,000 square meters. To give you some context, the Wadsworth Atheneum Art Museum in Connecticut is the oldest museum in the U.S., having opened in 1844. The biggest museum in the U.S. is the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City at 58,000 square meters – twice as big as the second largest museum, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts. So the DAM is nothing to sneeze at!
Not only does the building contain art, but the building is a giant piece of art. It’s current home, started in 1971, was designed by Italian architect Gio Ponti. It looks like a castle and is made up of more than a million reflective glass tiles, designed by Corning Glass Works.
Another addition to the museum was designed by American architect Daniel Libeskind in 2000. This part has a geometric design, and consists of 20 sloping planes, and 230,000 square feet of titanium panels.
There are lots of New York City connections here!
Cool Factoid #1: Gio Ponti designed the Pirelli Building in Milan, which was the inspiration for the old Pan Am Building in New York City (now the Met Life Building).
Cool Factoid #2: Daniel Libeskind’s architectural firm was the master planner of the World Trade Center rebuild.
Back to the museum...
Admission: We visited on a Free Day, but if you happen to be there other days, admission is $18. There are discounts for Colorado residents, seniors, students, and military. Timed tickets are not necessary as of this writing, but buying tickets online is recommended. General admission doesn't include admission to special exhibits.
Hours: Open daily from 10 am-5 pm, until 9 pm on Tuesdays. Closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
Parking: There are surface lots and metered street parking, but we splurged and paid $10 at a nearby parking garage.
Food: There's a restaurant and a cafe. We had lunch at the cafe. It was meh, and on the pricey side. But it was convenient, which is, I guess, what you're paying for...
COVID Protocols: Yup, ya gotta wear a mask, per public health orders from the City and County of Denver. And the usual distancing requirements...
The Art: While the museum had many different types of art, we were interested in seeing Indigenous arts of North America, and western American art, so that’s what we did. It was incredible and it way exceeded my expectations! Here are just a few pics!
I’d love to show you more, but the Museum’s Permission Guidelines. prevent the museum itself from being used as a background in film or photography without express permission, and photos have to exclude the museum logo and any art that requires artist approval. Soooo, you’ll just have to take my word for it...and head to the museum website or check out the Denver Art Museum the next time you're in Denver!