Denver Art Museum

Topics: Art museum, Denver Art Museum, Modernism Pages: 6 (1422 words) Published: April 30, 2014

Denver Art Museum Visit
Visiting the Denver Art Museum for the first time can be something of clouded experienced. There is almost too much for one day for your mind to overcome; the architect, surrounding area and, of course, the many wondrous works of art can overwhelm any first-timer. Although originally dating back all the way to 1948, the Denver Art Museum, as well as the surrounding Civic Center buildings have dramatically changed and become a work of art themselves.

As anyone is driving into the city, the first thing noticed would have to be the sky scrapers whose tops adorn the sky, but as they grow closer and closer to the Civic Center the buildings’ sizes begin to fade into normality, until they arrive at the State Capitol and Civic Center whose green scenery is something of a break from the never ending blocks of cement and stone. The Public Library and Art Museum with surrounding Center for Empowered Living and Learning building are the backbone of the modern architecture that enlightens the ”so called” southern center of the city. The buildings are not the glass and marble, granite, other stone, or cement structures that are the average buildings of the surrounding area; they are combinations of architectural genius and creativity that combine the surrounding building styles and materials in a modern style like the exemplified in the Public Library. I noticed the library building because of its already existing marble/stone face that looked towards the Hamilton Building of the Art Museum along with W 13th Avenue. The building blended in with the contour of W 13th Ave., and it wasn’t until I realized there was not a separation between the building face I was looking at and the North side that faced the greenery of the Civic Center Park, that I realized the Library was an architectural combination of old and new just as the Art Museum is. Instead of being separate building conjoined by an enclosed bridge, the building builds off of itself towards the park in a way that builds and combines different styles of modern architecture.

The Denver Art Museum clearly separates itself form its surrounding modern style buildings with its massive aluminum shape combined with its original building with its towers of medieval/castle-like style endowed glass. Because of its robust design that casts over the sidewalk and street below, “116 vertical columns of steel and concrete extend from the building's foundation in to the bedrock to make the Hamilton Building secure and stable” ("Denver Art Museum, United States of America"). Without the connecting bridge between the Ponti Building and the Hamilton Building, one would assume they have nothing to do with each other. Although the buildings are not alike in appearance or design, they are very similar in architectural purpose. Their purpose is making the art of architecture more noticeable and enticing for the average eye, and the architectural beauty of the outside of the building is far surpassed by the interior atrium and awe-inspiring, edgy design.

My first impressions upon entering the Museum were such that I cannot put them into words. After living in Cleveland and traveling to most major cities like New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles I have seen many Art Museums, and above and beyond the entrance, there were many things that separated the Denver Museum from others. The first thing I noticed was the ease of navigation. Although the maps provide the layout for the structures and where the connecting point is, they fail to show things of importance like reference points within the rooms, restrooms, etc. I had ease finding the different sections but difficulty within them and through them. Once past those slight challenges of the museum I was able to spot out four specific works that deserved notice.

The first work of art deserving of attention was an oil painting on canvas done by American born painter of 1941, Theodore Waddell called Motherwell’s Angus....
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