If thinking of Denver doesn’t bring to mind exclusive museum exhibits and collections, along with architecturally stunning buildings to house them, we don’t blame you – it wouldn’t have been our first thought, either. But when we took a look at the stunning exhibits coming to the Denver Art Museum and the newly opened Clyfford Still Museum we had to reconsider. This year, Denver should be on any art (or fashion) fan’s radar. From exclusive-to-Denver exhibits at the Denver Art Museum to 94 percent of Clyfford Still’s body of work, Denver is transforming itself into a must-visit cultural hub.
This Sunday, March 25, will see the opening of the Yves Saint Laurent: The Retrospective exhibit at the Denver Art Museum (www.denverartmuseum.org). This not-to-be-missed display has otherwise only been seen in Paris and Madrid – and it won’t be seen anywhere else in the United States. Over 200 haute couture Yves Saint Laurent outfits will be on display, as well as drawings, photographs, and films showcasing the foundation and development of the designer’s style. There will also be an interactive fashion studio for visitors to discover the processes behind designing. Tickets are $22 for adults, $18 for students and seniors, $14 for those aged 6-17, and free for children 5 and under. They include general admission, admission to the Yves Saint Laurent exhibit, and a free audio guide. Note that the tickets are timed and dated, however, so you’ll want to either get yours in advance by ordering online here, or stay at one of these hotels offering packages that include undated, untimed VIP tickets to get you to the front of the line whenever you want to go. The exhibit will run through July 8, 2012. The museum is closed on Mondays.
After the Yves Saint Laurent display, an equally exciting exhibit of Van Gogh’s work will be at the Denver Art Museum. From October 21, 2012 to January 20, 2013 Becoming Van Gogh will be shown exclusively in Denver, with timed and dated tickets. (Tickets are not yet on sale.) The exhibit will feature 70 of Van Gogh’s paintings and drawings collected from 60 collections across Europe and North America, and will trace his artistic development from his 1886 arrival in Paris to his final years in Provence.
Adjacent to the Denver Art Museum is the Clyfford Still Museum, which is just as worthy of a visit. Clyfford Still, an influential Abstract Expressionist, worked among artists such as Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock, but not many people are familiar with his work because his estate, which housed his art since he’d removed himself from commercial galleries in 1961, has been sealed off from the public and scholars since 1980. However, his will stated that a city that would build a permanent museum for only his work could have the lot of it – and in a competition with nearly two dozen other cities, Denver was chosen by Still’s wife, who in 2005 gave the museum her estate, which included more of her husband’s work. The museum, which opened in November, therefore has 94 percent of all work ever done by Clyfford Still. And if you still need convincing of Still’s influence, consider this: four of his paintings recently sold at auction for a total of $114 million. Tickets are $10 for adults, $3 for those aged 6-17, and free for children 5 and under; if you purchase tickets online, you can save $1/adult ticket. The museum is closed on Mondays. www.clyffordstillmuseum.org