“visually stimulating in Denver”
One of the premier museums in Denver: Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art is an art museum in Denver, Colorado featuring three collections containing over 30,000 works by more than 1,500 artists and designers. All three collections are displayed together in salon style: A celebrated international decorative art collection from about 1875 to about 1990 with examples of every major design period from Arts & Crafts to Postmodern A Colorado & regional art collection with over 7,000 works by more than 700 artists and A retrospective of Colorado’s distinguished painter, Vance Kirkland (1904–1981). Our Story: The History of Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art In May 1981, artist Vance Kirkland died, willing his estate to family friend Hugh Grant who had been curating exhibitions for Kirkland. Since Kirkland’s wife had already died and they had no children, Grant became executor of the estate. From 1981 to 1996, Grant mounted exhibitions of Kirkland’s work and that of other artists such as Edgar Britton and Otto Bach. By 1996, Grant realized that Colorado fine and decorative art was not being shown in depth in any museum setting. Many exceptional artists of the past were being forgotten. Using Vance Kirkland's 1311 Pearl Street studio & art school building, the Vance Kirkland Foundation was granted nonprofit, 501(c)(3) status as an operating foundation. In the late 1990s, while Grant took Kirkland’s paintings throughout Europe, construction began on an addition to the studio building, which became the first home of Kirkland Museum. Kirkland Museum opened to the public on April 2, 2003, displaying the works of Kirkland, his Colorado and regional colleagues and international decorative art. Merle Chambers and Hugh Grant were married from 1989–2017. Chambers was influential in the growth of Kirkland Museum, funding the construction of the original museum located at 13th Avenue and Pearl Street in Denver and providing ongoing support and guidance. Chambers’ support was instrumental in developing the international decorative art collection at Kirkland Museum, considered one of the most important design collections displayed in any North American museum. Grant has continued to mount special exhibitions, hold the collection together and further build upon it as the museum’s Founding Director & Curator. The museum’s hours, programming and exhibitions have continued to expand, as have the museum’s collections which now total over 30,000 objects. In January 2014, Kirkland Museum announced plans to relocate the museum to a new building at 12th Avenue and Bannock Street in Denver’s Golden Triangle Creative District. Merle Chambers Fund provided the funding for the construction of the new museum building and the foundation’s financial support for a new home for the museum is an investment in the further development of the vibrant Golden Triangle Creative District and Denver’s nationally important art scene. Vance Kirkland’s studio & art school building is the heart of the Kirkland Museum experience and was relocated to Bannock Street in November 2016, and oriented in the same direction. The new facility, scheduled to open March 10, 2018, is an opportunity to increase the public’s exposure to the museum’s three collection areas.
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Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art
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