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Denver Art Museum renovations complete.

Centennial celebrations and exhibitions are in full swing

THE TRIUMPHAL CENTENNIAL march of the Denver Art Museum is well under way. Setting the pace was the grand reopening in February of the museum's third and fourth floors, which house galleries devoted to pre-Columbian, Spanish colonial, and Asian art.

The museum renovations, which cost $9 million and took two years to complete, double the display space available for the museum's permanent collections of art from the Americas and Asia. In addition, user-friendly educational areas featuring audiovisual and printed materials to complement the objects on view were sited adjacent to the galleries. Now visitors can either opt for a quick look or linger to study a specific object in depth.

Even the elevators were redesigned, at least as far as the naming of floors was concerned. Since four is considered an unlucky number in some Asian countries, the fourth floor, which had held the museum's extensive holdings in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian, Tibetan, and Southeast and Southwest Asian art, is now the fifth.


The African and Oceanic art galleries on the first floor reopen on April 3, along with a show of the museum's new acquisitions in modern and contemporary art. On April 23, 24, and 25, floral designers will display arrangements based on objects in the museum's collections, while on May 15, 16, and 17, the work of Denver-area children will be featured during a young people's art festival, designed to highlight the museum's educational programs for children.

But perhaps the most important show of the year will be American Indian Art in the Twentieth Century, from July 10 through November 7. In his last exhibition as the museum's curator of native arts, Richard Conn has organized a clear and incisive look at Native American art, from historic clay objects to contemporary paintings. "American Indian art has gone through so many changes in public perception over the last century," he says. "It will be important to see its further course now that the Indians themselves have come to the foreground as artists."

Ongoing educational programs will include First Wednesdays, an evening program combining jazz, food, and art, and First Sundays, an afternoon program in which artists create and discuss their work in the museum's galleries.

The museum is at 100 W. 14th Avenue Parkway. Hours are 10 to 5 Tuesdays through Saturdays, until 8 Wednesdays, and noon to 5 Sundays. Admission costs $3 for adults; $1.50 for students and ages 65 and over. Saturdays are free. For more information, call (303) 640-2793.
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Author:Kuehl, Pat Hanna
Date:Apr 1, 1993
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