Nestled in the shadow of the Denver Art Museum, is an unassuming, yet architecturally exquisite building that houses the world’s most intact body of work of any major artist. This gem of a museum is the Clyfford Still Museum.
At this point, you may be asking yourself, how is this man a major artist and yet I’ve never heard of him? Well, that might have to do with the fact that although Clyfford Still (1904 – 80) was among the first generation of Abstract Expressionists (think Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko) who developed a new, powerful approach to painting in the years immediately following World War II, he withdrew from the art world and gallery scene in the 1950s (the height of the Abstract Expressionist movement), and kept the majority of the pieces he created. Following his death in 1980, all works that had not entered the public domain were sealed off from both public and scholarly view.
Fortunately for us, in 2004, the city of Denver was selected by Patricia Still (Clyfford’s widow) to receive the approximately 825 paintings and over 2,300 works on paper contained within the Clyfford Still Estate. In 2011, the Clyfford Still Museum opened to the public.
Top 5 Reasons to Visit the Clyfford Still Museum:
- To Lose Yourself in Massive Fields of Color. Some of Still’s works are MASSIVE (more than 10′ x 14′), which means you almost feel like you’re swimming in color while studying the texture of the paint, the striking combinations of colors and the minute details that clearly show these works were created with focus and intention.
- To Sit Quietly in One of the Most Tranquil Spaces in the City. The soft light filtering into the museum through a unique concrete lattice ceiling, combined with the soft felt benches and the airy flow of the rooms, makes this museum an oasis for quiet contemplation among compelling artwork.
- To Explore the Evolution of an Artist and Individual. In addition to housing 95% of Still’s works on canvas and paper, the museum also displays personal artifacts that shed light on his personal life, his life as an artist and how the interplay of these sides influenced the artwork he created.
- To Enjoy Great Free Programming. From summertime lawn concerts to lectures from visiting scholars on a myriad of topics, the Still Museum has great offerings throughout the year that is free and open to the public.
- To Discover a Previously Unkown Passion for Concrete. Yes. Seriously. After you take in the absolute perfection of the textured concrete used to construct the Still Museum, you will never feel that concrete is a humble building material ever again.
A Beginner’s Guide to Abstract Expressionism: Abstract Expressionism 101
Museum website: www.clyffordstillmuseum.org
Museum Location: 1250 Bannock St.
|Day of week||Hours|
|Tuesday–Thursday||10 am – 5 pm|
|Friday||10 am – 8 pm|
|Saturday–Sunday||10 am – 5 pm|
New Years Day