The Clyfford Still Museum opened in 2011 and remains the newest addition to Denver’s Cultural Arts District. Located adjacent to the Denver Art Museum, the two-story, 28,500 square foot building …
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The Clyfford Still Museum opened in 2011 and remains the newest addition to Denver’s Cultural Arts District. Located adjacent to the Denver Art Museum, the two-story, 28,500 square foot building was created to allow visitors to understand and appreciate Still’s legacy, which had previously been shrouded in mystery. The bulk of his work was hidden from public view for over 30 years prior to the museum opening.
The museum is celebrating their quinquennial with free admission Friday, Nov. 18 through Sunday, Nov. 20. They will also host a Fifth Anniversary Family Day all day on Saturday, Nov. 19. There will be tours, art making and light refreshments.
Photo courtesy Visit Denver via Clyfford Still Museum.
The Clyfford Still Museum opened in 2011 and remains the newest addition to Denver’s Cultural Arts District. Located adjacent to the Denver Art Museum, the two-story, 28,500 square foot building was created to allow visitors to understand and appreciate Still’s legacy
Still was among the first generation of Abstract Expressionists who created a powerful new approach to painting in the years immediately after World War II. His contemporaries included Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko, among others. If these names don’t register, know that these artists are the ones who tore up the instruction manual on what it meant to be a painter at that point in history.
Although each artist’s style varied considerably from the others, in general Abstract Expressionism was marked by expressive, explosive brushwork applied on an often monumental scale, both of which were utilized to convey themes concerning creation, life, struggle and death. These themes were of paramount interest and importance in the post-war world. Still is considered to be one of the founders of the movement, laying the groundwork for his compatriots.
“Our hope for our fifth anniversary weekend is to heartily celebrate the individuals and organizations that support and partner with us,” said Clyfford Still Museum director Dean Sobel. “From the outset, it has been our mission to make this previously hidden collection accessible to a contemporary audience, and we could not have made the strides we’ve achieved without the vital support of Denver's thriving cultural community."
The Still Museum was created because very few of his works were in the art market, post-1951, when Still ended his relationship with the Betty Parsons Gallery in New York. The Still Museum now houses 95 percent of his total output, making it the most intact body of work of any major artist. In addition to the artwork, there are letters, sketchbooks, manuscripts, photo albums and personal effects in the museum’s archive.
The celebration will also feature Music in the Galleries, half of a double-bill music program sharing in the celebration of Still and performed by Trio Thessalia (Colorado Symphony musicians Karen Kinzie on the violin, Leah Kovach on the viola and Susan Cahill on the bass). The trio will perform music from Beethoven on Sunday, Nov. 20, from 11:00a.m. to 12:00p.m.
Music was very much a part of Clyfford Still’s life. He played piano and his record collection is also part of the museum’s archive. Still was a fan of classical, jazz, traditional, gospel, blues and folk.
The second half of the bill will feature a live performance from the Dustin Adams Trio, who will be laying down some jazz the same day at 2:00p.m.
For more information about the celebratory events, visit clyffordstillmuseum.org.
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