I’m two for two on girls’-day-out trips to Denver art museums: first Dior with Anali, then the Kirkland with Linda.
The Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Arts is named for Vance Kirkland, artist behind these incredible dot paintings:
One of the most fascinating elements of this museum is how they picked up and moved Kirkland’s original studio, which now serves as an annex for the galleries. Kirkland used the straps shown in the photo below to hang above his paintings to work. He shifted the paintings around using little purpose-built skateboards.
But the museum is more than a repository of Kirkland’s own work; it is also dedicated to fine art (paintings, sculpture) and decorative art (think chairs, bowls, vases). Oh, and Colorado-related artwork. All of this work is displayed, in the museum’s words, “in salon style,” which means all mixed in together. Vance Kirkland’s paintings may take up one wall with a few Saarinen chairs on the floor and a seemingly unrelated piece of pottery created by a Colorado artist perched on a table. I am sure there is a sense of rhyme or reason if you dig deeply, but to me it came across as incredibly eclectic and often random. That’s not a complaint, actually — I found the Kirkland to be fascinating and beautiful. Just… scattered.
Cincinnati’s Rookwood Pottery representin’! (In two separate rooms with different themes.)
ME: I love that they have to label the benches you’re allowed to sit on.
LINDA: Or… this was designed by Joe Visitor.
The Kirkland collection is eccentric and robust. Just a few of the names I spotted on random works of art: Lichtenstein, Eames, Dalí, Lissitzky, Saarinen, Frank Lloyd Wright, Warhol. Mind-boggling.
Thank you for the opportunity explore a new-to-me cultural corner of Denver, Linda!