Denver Art Museum To Bring Education To The Heart Of New Campus

Morgridge Family Foundation, Schlessman Family Foundation and Singer Family Foundation gifts totaling $8M to support education experiences designed by Mexico City-based design firm Esrawe + Cadena

The Denver Art Museum (DAM) announced three significant museum donations totaling $8 million for its new Bartlit Learning and Engagement Center in the Martin Building (formerly North Building), which will help fund an expansion of spaces and visitor experiences. Set to reopen to the public starting June 6, 2020, the museum’s large-scale construction and renovation project will unify the campus and create a welcoming and engaging experience for visitors of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.

The Morgridge Family Foundation contributed $4 million and the Schlessman Family Foundation and Singer Family Foundation each gifted $2 million in support of the DAM’s $150 million capital campaign for construction and renovation. The funds will contribute to expanded public spaces for school and youth group visits and educational opportunities for all visitors. International design team Esrawe + Cadena, based in Mexico City, Mexico, will bring these spaces to life in support of DAM’s welcoming environment, community connections, creativity for all ages and the power of harnessing early childhood education inventiveness.

Esrawe + Cadena has been working with museum staff during the past year to reimagine education and community experiences at the DAM. The new education center will welcome visitors with flexible spaces that inspire experimentation and engagement with their own creativity, while simultaneously connecting visitors with one another and Denver’s creative energy through local artist collaborations. When the museum begins its phased reopening this summer, the new Morgridge Creative Hub, four workshop areas, sensory garden and Wonderscape Singer Community Gallery will offer these new experiences. Combining the principles of participation, flexibility, creativity and spontaneity, as well as incorporating the use of delightful colors and design, were a focus for the museum and the Esrawe + Cadena teams as well.

Esrawe + Cadena also designed custom modular furniture for the Creative Hub and workshop areas that will be flexible enough to create multiple types of educational environments. Visitors will be able to reimagine and reconfigure the furniture with the ability to move between spaces to support creativity and programs. Tables and multiple seating arrangements in each of the spaces will be able to be arranged both collectively and individually to facilitate collaborative and independent activities. Additionally, mobile activity carts will give visitors the ability to take hands-on projects to multiple areas.

Designed more than 50 years ago by world-renowned Italian architectGio Pontiand Denver-based James Sudler Associates, the Martin Building first opened to the public in 1971. By the time the renovation project is complete in 2021, the transformed Martin Building tower structure will house the majority of the DAM’s permanent collection galleries. The contributions made by the Morgridge, Schlessman and Singer Family Foundations will help the museum bring its exemplary educational programs to a more central location of the building and expand opportunities for visitor creativity and engagement.

The Denver Art Museum is a leader in the field of museum engagement, and these generous contributions will help expand our ability to welcome the community, celebrate creativity and create connections between people, their communities and a larger humanity through art,” said Christoph Heinrich, Frederick and Jan Mayer Director of the DAM. “We are also grateful to be collaborating with international design firm Esrawe + Cadena to further the museum’s efforts to engage and inspire visitors of all ages.

Morgridge Creative Hub

The Morgridge Family Foundation’s contribution to the Martin Building project is being recognized in the renovated building’s Creative Hub. The Morgridge Creative Hub will be a dynamic educational space in the location formerly known as Ponti Hall on level one of the Martin Building. It will facilitate school group visits, feature hands-on artmaking activities inspired by the creative process and serve as a location for creative communities to convene for discussion and participation in DAM programs.

We are pleased to support this important project at the Denver Art Museum and, especially, to help create spaces that will transform the way the community can participate in creativity at the museum,” said John Morgridge, president of the Morgridge Family Foundation. “We hope this will be an engaging space for every visitor to explore their own creativity.”

The Morgridge Family Foundation was granted charitable status in April 2008 and is committed to making investments that transform communities by working with nonprofit partners. At the DAM, the Morgridge Family Foundation has supported the museum’s Creativity Resource program, an online art education resource center for classroom teachers, home-school educators and families since 2008. The Foundation has made numerous contributions to the Denver community, including to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, National Jewish Health, University of Denver and Mile High United Way.

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Art Exhibition Exploring Music Of The Ancient Americas To Open At Denver’s Museo De Las Americas

In Collaboration With The Denver Art Museum, Rhythm and Ritual: Music of the Ancient Americas will feature nearly 80 artworks

Denver’s Latin American Art Museum, Museo de las Americas (Museo), located in the heart of the Art District on Santa Fe, is pleased to announce a collaboration with the Denver Art Museum (DAM) in creating its new exhibition, Rhythm and Ritual: Music of the Ancient Americas. The presentation will explore music of the ancient Americas through about 80 artworks that date from 1000 BCE to 1530 CE. Rhythm and Ritual will be on view at Museo from Thursday, March 26, 2020 to Saturday, Aug. 15, 2020, with an opening event taking place on March 26, from 5 to 9 p.m. at Museo.

“As a community museum, it is important that our programming brings awareness to the history and present issues of the Latino community,” said Claudia Moran, Executive Director of Museo. “We are very excited to present Rhythm and Ritual, which is a unique exhibition that takes an in-depth look into the ancient civilizations’ relationship with music. Museo is deeply thankful to the Denver Art Museum for their colossal efforts to showcase their exceptional collection in our galleries, underlining their commitment to Latino culture.”

Unknown Maya Artist, Jaguar-costumed Figurine Flute with Blowgun, 300-600 C.E. Ceramic; 6.5 in. (16.51 cm). Denver Art Museum: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Edward M. Strauss, 1984.521.

Works on view in Rhythm and Ritual will analyze the context in which music was performed throughout the ancient Americas, celebrate the lasting legacy of ancient music today, and invite visitors to play music on a limited selection of 3-D printed replicas of the musical instruments on display. The exhibition will feature works on loan from the DAM as well as a commissioned mural by local artist David Ocelotl Garcia and a video by Brazilian-born artist Clarissa Tossin.

The exhibition is co-organized by Museo and the DAM, and is curated by Jared Katz, Mayer Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow for Art of the Ancient Americas at the DAM.

Unknown Mixtec Artist, Carved Conch Shell Horn, c. 1300 C.E. Shell; 10.75 x 6 in. (27.31 x 15.24 cm). Denver Art Museum: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Morris A. Long, 1980.171.

Museo de las Americas is a vital pillar in our cultural community, and we’re always thrilled when we have the opportunity to partner with them,” said Christoph Heinrich, Frederick and Jan Mayer Director of the DAM. “This is also an ideal opportunity for us to showcase works from the Denver Art Museum’s ancient Americas collection while the Martin Building is under renovation.”

The exhibition also will take a closer look at the rich and multi-sensory cultural experiences encountered by people living throughout the ancient Americas by exploring how sound and music impacted their daily and ceremonial lives. Additionally, Rhythm and Ritual will take a deeper dive into related subjects such as music from geographic regions that include Costa Rica, Ecuador, the ancient Andes, and the ancient Maya area.

At times, the past can appear to be static, as the objects are seemingly condemned to sit in silence,” Katz said. “In reality, each object has a rich life history. Rhythm and Ritual seeks to celebrate the life history of these instruments by populating people’s perception of the past with sound and music, helping museum visitors better understand the lived experiences of ancient people, while simultaneously creating a connection to culture and music that endures today.”

Exhibition curator Katz is currently the Mayer Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow for Art of the Ancient Americas at the DAM. He received his Ph.D. in Anthropology, with a focus on Mesoamerican Archaeology from the University of California, Riverside. He specializes in the study of ancient Mesoamerican music and digital archaeological methodologies. Katz has published numerous articles on the topic, and has held research positions at institutions, including the University of Texas at Austin’s Mesoamerican research center in Guatemala and Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Museum.

Amongst his other positions, he has held a University of California Public Scholars Fellowship, a Foreign Language Area Studies Fellowship, and a University of California Chancellors Distinguished Fellowship.

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Denver Art Museum Presents Untitled: Creative Fusions

Evening programming features collaborations with local artists, pop-up art installations, performances and more

The Denver Art Museum (DAM) will kick off its new season of Untitled: Creative Fusions on January 31, 2020, with an unprecedented night of pop-up art installations, performances, interactive elements and more created by local artists Eileen Roscina Richardson and Joshua Ware in collaboration with 17 local creatives.

Untitled: Creative Fusions is a newly reimagined version of Untitled, presenting a bigger, bolder program at the Denver Art Museum in 2020. Taking place four times a year, Untitled: Creative Fusions will bring local creatives together to merge their artistic practices with the DAM’s exhibitions and artworks.

(Untitled is included in general museum admission, however, a special exhibition ticket is required for Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature.)

Creatives Eileen Roscina Richardson & Joshua Ware. Image courtesy of Denver Art Museum.

Inspired by Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature and The Light Show, Richardson and Ware join forces to investigate the wild and the constructed through the theme Entanglements. Visitors are invited to explore the space between the man-made and the natural, where humans and nature are irrevocably intertwined.

With can’t-miss moments including live ice sculpting by Jess Parris, pop-up installations by the lead creators, wheat pasting with We Were Wild, a complimentary liquid nitrogen popcorn station courtesy of The Inventing Room, beats by Dance the NightShift and more, visitors can expect a once-in-a-lifetime night at the DAM during Untitled.

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Denver Art Museum To Debut First Major U.S. Retrospective Of The House Of Dior

Dior: From Paris to the World will celebrate more than 70 years of the French house’s enduring legacy

Soon to open to the public, The Denver Art Museum (DAM) will be home to the U.S. presentation of Dior: From Paris to the World, an exhibition surveying more than 70 years of the House of Dior’s enduring legacy and its global influence. A selection of more than 200 haute couture dresses, as well as accessories, photographs, original sketches, runway videos, and other archival material, will trace the history of the iconic haute couture fashion house. The DAM’s presentation of Dior: From Paris to the World will be on view in the Anschutz and Martin and McCormick galleries on level two of the Hamilton Building.DAM-logo-horizontal-green

Christian Dior generated a revolution in Paris and around the globe after World War II in 1947 with his New Look collection. Dior, the art gallerist who became a celebrated couturier, completely shed the masculine silhouette that had been established during the war, expressing modern femininity with his debut collection. Dior’s sophisticated designs, featuring soft shoulders, accentuated busts, and nipped waists, drew on his inspirations of art, antiques, fashion illustration and his passion for gardening. The result was elegant feminine contours that brought a breath of fresh air to the fashion world through luxurious swaths of fabrics, revolutionary design, and lavish embroidery. This marked the beginning of an epic movement in fashion history that would eventually lead to Dior successfully becoming the first worldwide couture house.

Christian Dior with models, about 1955. Photo André Gandner. © Clémence Gandner

Christian Dior with models, about 1955. Photo André Gandner. © Clémence Gandner

The museum will mount this major exhibition with loans from the esteemed Dior Héritage Collection, many of which have rarely been seen outside of Europe, with additional loans from major institutions. The chronological presentation, showcasing pivotal themes in the House of Dior’s global history, will focus on how Christian Dior cemented his fashion house’s reputation within a decade and established the house on five continents—Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and South America. Dior: From Paris to the World also will highlight how his successors adeptly incorporated their own design aesthetic.

Christian Dior, Bobby suit, Autumn-Winter 1956 Haute Couture collection. Courtesy of Christian Dior Couture Archives.

Christian Dior, Bobby suit, Autumn-Winter 1956 Haute Couture collection. Courtesy of Christian Dior Couture Archives.

Dior: From Paris to the World also will profile its founder, Christian Dior, and subsequent artistic directors, including Yves-Saint Laurent (1958–1960), Marc Bohan (1961–1989), Gianfranco Ferré (1989–1996), John Galliano (1997–2011), Raf Simons (2012–2015) and Maria Grazia Chiuri (2016–present), who have carried Dior’s vision into the 21st century.

P. Roversi_Gianfranco Ferré_s Robe Hellébore websize

Gianfranco Ferré, Robe Hellébore, Dior Collection Haute Couture, Spring 1995. Photo ©Paolo Roversi/Art + Commerce.

Image 4 - Christian Dior, Bar suit

Christian Dior, Bar suit. Afternoon ensemble in shantung and pleated wool, Haute Couture Spring-Summer 1947, Corolle line. Dior Héritage collection, Paris. ©Laziz Hamani.

Image 5 - Yves Saint Laurent for Christian Dior

Yves Saint Laurent for Christian Dior, Banco. Haute couture Spring-Summer 1958, Trapèze line. Smock dress in faille with a peony print. Dior Héritage Collection, Paris; Inv. 1998.2. ©Laziz Hamani.

Image 6 - Marc Bohan for Christian Dior, Pollock dress

Marc Bohan for Christian Dior, Pollock dress. Long printed faille evening gown. Haute Couture Fall-Winter 1986. Dior Héritage collection, Paris Inv. 2015.450 ©Laziz Hamani.

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