Behind the Scenes at the DAM

Installing Joel Shapiro’s For Jennifer

The 32-foot tall, bright blue sculpture between the Hamilton Building and the Clyfford Still Museum is For Jennifer by Joel Shapiro. On a chilly weekend in November 2011, the DAM’s newest outdoor sculpture was installed. Constructed of aluminum, the sculpture gets its signature color from an innovative matte polyurethane paint. The blue paint is slightly translucent and was sprayed over an ultra-white sealer to bring out the intensity of the hue. The matte finish gives the color depth and a velvety richness.

The 3,240-pound sculpture arrived in Denver in five parts, which were carefully wrapped to protect the delicate paint finish. An installation crew, including an installer from the sculpture’s fabricator Polich Tallix and the DAM’s own conservation technician Steve Osborne, assembled the sculpture over two days with the assistance of a crane parked on 13th Avenue. 

The sculpture was given in honor of Jennifer Moulton, director of planning and development for the City and County of Denver from 1992 to 2003, who died in 2004.

Credit: Joel Shapiro (American, born 1941). For Jennifer, 2007-2011. Painted aluminum.  Given in honor of Jennifer Moulton (1950-2004), Director of Planning and Development, City and County of Denver, 1992-2003. With funds provided by Jan Mayer, Forest City Stapleton, Inc, Riverfront Park Community Foundation, Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, Jana & Fred Bartlit, David Tryba, Dianne Eddolls & Glenn Jones, Mary & Donald Hoagland, Leslie Stanford & Don V. Bailey, Ralph L. & Florence R. Burgess Trust, Hogan Lovells, Fentress Architects, Davis Partnership Architects, Evi & Evan Makovsky, Beverly & Harold Haddon, 42/40 Architecture Inc., Susan Powers & Jerry Glick, AR& HooverDesmondArchitects, John Huggins, Brownstein Hyatt Farber & Schreck, Mill River Foundation Fund, Hickenlooper for Mayor, Opus Northwest, L.L.C., Oz Architecture, Nichols Partnership, Sage Foundation, Ferdinand & Christy Belz, Ze & Dick Deane, Mark Feldman, Maria & Charles Garcia Berry, Linda & Russell Heise, Hal and Ann Logan, Henry & Elizabeth Moulton, Larry Nelson & Ruth Falkenberg, William Stanfill & Susan Barnes-Gelt, Karin & Charles Woolley, and other generous friends and colleagues of Jennifer Moulton. Collection of the Denver Art Museum.

Kate Moomaw is assistant conservator for modern and contemporary art in the conservation department at the Denver Art Museum.  Kate has been at the DAM since 2011 and her favorite artwork that has been on view here is Geneviève and the May Wolf by Kiki Smith.