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Denver Art Museum Opens Hamilton Building
The Denver Art Museum's Frederic C. Hamilton Building Photo by Jeff Wells. Courtesy of the Denver Art Museum.

DENVER, CO.- More than 700 additional works from the Denver Art Museum’s permanent collection are on view at the Museum’s October 7, 2006, re-opening. The substantially expanded campus includes the Daniel Libeskind-designed Frederic C. Hamilton Building and the 1971 North Building by noted Italian architect Gio Ponti. In total, the Museum’s gallery space is increasing by 40 percent. It is dedicating all exhibition areas in its inaugural year to its extensive holdings of more than 60,000 objects, one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of world art in the Western United States, and to collections with a strong Colorado connection.

The Hamilton Building provides the Museum with increased and more flexible space for the presentation of art. Three major spaces—totaling 20,000 square feet—will frequently house traveling exhibitions and objects from around the world. During its first year, when the Museum anticipates up to one million visitors, works of art rarely or never before seen publicly that have a Colorado connection or come from the Museum’s collection will be on view in these spaces.

“The galleries in the Hamilton Building allow us to share with this community substantially more art from our diverse collection,” said director Lewis Sharp. “By devoting the temporary exhibition spaces to our own works of art this year—along with the permanent collection galleries in the North Building—we’ll provide a broader view of the Museum’s holdings. The three temporary installations have a strong connection to Colorado, demonstrating our continued commitment to our home state. We look forward to bringing major traveling exhibitions to this community in the years that follow.”

On the first floor, the 6,000-square-foot Gallagher Family Gallery showcases Japanese Art from the Colorado Collection of Kimiko and John Powers, on view from October 7, 2006 through September 9, 2007. Approximately 120 works spanning nearly twelve centuries by artists, some experimenting with Western techniques, and Zen priests, will be presented. To protect the fragile paper and silk objects in this exquisite collection, the exhibition will be presented in two to three rotations. Amassed over three decades in Colorado, this collection features folding screens, hanging scrolls, handscrolls, sculpture and lacquer ware. Formed with the assistance of leading Japanese scholars, Japanese Art from the Colorado Collection of Kimiko and John Powers is one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of Japanese art outside of Japan.

The second-floor, 11,000-square-foot Anschutz Gallery hosts RADAR: Selections from the Collection of Vicki and Kent Logan, on view from October 7, 2006, through July 15, 2007. In 2002, Vail residents Vicki and Kent Logan donated more than 200 works to the Museum’s modern and contemporary collection. Works from that gift, as well as others from the Logan’s collection and their donations to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, are on view in RADAR. “Colorado collectors Vicki and Kent have an uncanny ability to detect—as if by radar—what’s happening right now in art all over the world,” said Dianne Vanderlip, Polly and Mark Addison Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.

RADAR features a broad cross-section of young and emerging international artists from more than ten countries. The exhibition space is divided into sections that focus on artists’ interpretations of current social and cultural issues in different geographic regions. American artists deal with urban stress, racial identity, and gender roles, while British artists break through the stifling artistic environment of Great Britain. German and Eastern European artists respond to the fall of the Iron Curtain. Asian artists use images and styles that blend tradition with their rapidly changing cultures. The artists featured in RADAR include Franz Ackermann, Damien Hirst, Michael Joo, Luo Brothers, and Matthew Ritchie. A catalog complements the installation.

The 3,000-square-foot Martin & McCormick Gallery, also on the second floor, will exhibit Breaking the Mold; The Virginia Vogel Mattern Collection of Contemporary Native American Art, an installation of Pueblo ceramics, contemporary oil paintings, Navajo and Hopi textiles and other contemporary Native American art given to the Museum by Coloradan Mattern in December 2003. The gallery installation includes more than 150 of the 320 works given by Mattern, representing the finest work by American Indian artists today. The installation will be on view through August 19, 2007. Accompanying the installation is the catalogue, Breaking the Mold: The Virginia Vogel Mattern Collection of Contemporary Native American Art, co-authored by DAM curator Nancy Blomberg and associate curator Polly Nordstrand. The publication explores the work of over 150 contemporary artists and features personal reflections by selected artists in the collection.

The Mattern collection is part of an extensive collection of Native American art at the Denver Art Museum. The Denver Art Museum is unique among art museums in the United States in the scope and depth of its native arts collection. The Museum was one of the first museums to use aesthetic quality as the criteria to develop such a collection, and the first art museum in this country to collect American Indian arts. The American Indian collection (19,000-plus objects) represents the artistic works of over 100 tribes across the United States and Canada.

In addition to these three installations, the Hamilton Building features galleries dedicated to African, Oceanic, western American and modern and contemporary art. The Museum’s North Building continues to house galleries for American Indian art, Asian art, pre-Columbian and Spanish colonial art, textiles, European painting and sculpture and architecture, design and graphics.

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