The Denver Art Museum is one of the finest museums in town and with good reason. Along with a long established collection, the addition of a new building in 2006 expanded the size and the amount of exhibits this museum can hold. The most renowned Denver Art Museum exhibitions are those that revolve around Western and regional art, but these aren't the only exhibitions worth checking out. Nearly 70,000 works are on display between the two buildings, and a couple of hours are generally needed if you want to see all of them. The best time to visit is on one of the Denver Art Museum Free Days, as you won't have to pay a penny to enjoy all of the fantastic works.
The Denver Art Museum exhibitions are quite eclectic. They include works that hail from the United States, Japan, Peru, and any other number of countries around the world. Both of the main buildings are used to house the permanent and temporary exhibitions, and tours of each building can be arranged. These tours go into depth about the art as well as the architecture of the two main buildings. While the newer main building was unveiled in 2006, the older one has been in place since 1972. The Denver Art Museum was actually founded in 1893, and it had many temporary homes throughout the years. Both of the main buildings break from the norm when it comes to their architectural styles, and together, they offer more than 300,000 square feet of space.
The works that are on display at the Denver Art Museum range from classic works to modern works, and special attention is given to the Western American Art exhibition. This collection boasts Charles Deas's Long Jakes, The Rocky Mountain Man. Painted in 1844, this work depicts a man who is living independently in the mountain wilderness, and it is hailed as being the most influential Rocky Mountain images of its kind.
Other renowned works that are part of the Western American Art exhibition include The Cheyenne and In the Enemy's Country. The former is a dazzling bronze sculpture that depicts a Cheyenne Indian warrior on a horse, and it was created by Frederic Remington in 1901. As for In the Enemy's Country, it is a painting by Charles Marion Russell that depicts Native Americans on a scouting party. Until European-Americans started moving West in the 1800s, Western Indians roamed Rocky Mountain states like Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming, not yet aware of the changes that would come. According to the artist himself, In the Enemy's Country takes a look at "the West that has passed," and it is a magnificent piece to say the least.
All of the Denver Art Museum exhibitions are of considerable merit, so it's easy to linger longer than expected on a visit. In addition to the Western American Art exhibition, the American Indian Art collection is of special interest. This collection boasts more than 18,000 works that represent all of the Indian tribes of North America, and is widely considered as being the best collection of its kind in the entire country. Ceramics, textiles, beadwork, and oil paintings are just some of the works on display in the Denver Art Museum's American Indian Art exhibition, and it's worth noting that the various pieces cover a time period of nearly 2,000 years. As for the other exhibitions at the museum, they showcase colonial art from Spain, oceanic art from the South Pacific, African art pieces, and just about any other kind of worldly works that you can imagine.
There is never a bad time to visit the Denver Art Museum, and thanks to its comprehensive collection, repeat visits might be in order. The collection more than justifies the general admission fees, though budget-minded travelers might wait to plan their visits around one of the Denver Art Museum free days. On the first Saturday of every month, admission to the museum is free! As is true on most days, the Denver Art Museum opens at 10 a.m. on Saturdays and closes at 5 p.m.
Whether you take advantage of the Denver Art Museum free days or you choose to visit at another time, there will be plenty of other attractions close by that can also be worthy of inclusion on the itinerary. They include the Colorado History Museum, the Colorado State Capitol, and the Denver Mint, all of which are a short walk away. The nearby Lodo District is also home to some top rated Denver attractions and can easily be paired with an Art Museum visit.