Sometimes those of us in the museum world get to take advantage of little perks, like sneak peeks to new exhibitions, or behind-the-scenes views of top-secret collections never seen by the public. Today was one of those lucky days.
This morning I toured an entirely new museum a day before it opens to the world: the Clyfford Still Museum. It is Denver’s newest place to see art, and it’s conveniently located next door to the Denver Art Museum at 13th and Bannock.
A stunning two-story building with abundant natural light that complements beautiful wooden floors, the Clyfford Still Museum features 10,000 square feet of exhibit space. On display are just over 100 of Still’s works from a 60-year career, selected from a total collection of 2,400 items. Of particular note are three sculptures, several room-sized paintings, and a large number of smallish drawings.
In addition to the obvious attraction of art, at the street level of the building, an interactive touch-screen display guides visitors through a timeline of Still’s working years. The multiple monitors use side-by-side comparisons of historical events and art-world happenings to provide perspective for the timing of Still’s work. It’s a very slick and well-made production. For those not interested in technology, take a close look at some of the artist’s personal effects like his baseball glove or smock.
So whether you want to count yourself among the first to ever walk through a brand new museum, or you just want an enjoyable journey through Abstract Expressionism, go visit the Clyfford Still Museum. It opens on Friday, November 18, 2011.
If you’ve never heard of the artist or you need a refresher, here’s a portion of a documentary about Still’s life and work.