Behind the Scenes at the DAM

Wesselmann Wrote Country Music? This & Other Double Takes at Untitled #69 (Uncharted)

The Untitled summer journey continues on July 25 with Untitled #69 (Uncharted). This month is not so much about venturing into uncharted territory as it is about revisiting what we think we already know. Case in point: pop artist Tom Wesselmann, the subject of the Denver Art Museum’s latest exhibition Beyond Pop Art: A Tom Wesselmann Retrospective. Wesselmann is best known as a painter—his claim to fame is his series Great American Nude. Lesser known is that he was also a country music artist. And a prolific one at that. Wesselmann wrote more than 400 country songs, one of which is featured on the Brokeback Mountain movie soundtrack. At Uncharted, we’ll spotlight this facet of his career. Inside the exhibition, musician Kevin Trainor will perform the songs he recorded with Wesselmann decades ago and dish about their studio sessions.

That’s not the only double take we’ve got in store for you at this Untitled. Take a tour that looks not at the artworks, but what’s behind them. Learn the ins, outs, ups, and downs of DAM-invented, one-of-a-kind hanging systems with exhibition installation assistant Kevin Hester. Then, add your thoughts to a giant crowd-sourced map imagining different purposes for the museum’s galleries. Or pick up an Untitled-exclusive, self-guide map to get a fresh perspective on one of the permanent collections. If you’re ready to get meta, artist Jill Berry’s latest work—an abstract map of Colorado inspired by a Ute robe in the DAM’s collections—helps you re-conceptualize maps themselves. Artist Alicia Bailey does the same for books in a map-inspired bookmaking workshop. In fact, it seems to be that in rethinking things presumed to be known, we end up pushing the boundaries of what they can be.

Continue expanding your horizons beyond the walls of the museum. Civic health club Warm Cookies of the Revolution talks the why, where, and how of international borders. And ancient astronomy expert John Stocke takes you stargazing to see Native American constellations. 

And we’re just getting started. Also at Untitled #69 (Uncharted):  food trucks El Toro the Tot and Scrumptious Ice CreamTonia Bonnell leading woodblock carving demos, Buntport Theater’s latest installment of Joan and Charlie Discuss Tonight’s ThemeMovement Climbing + Fitness sharing how they’d rock climb the mountains pictured in DAM landscapes, and semi-anonymous karaoke with chart-topping hits.

See you Friday, July 25 at Untitled #69 (Uncharted)! For more information, visit our Facebook event listing.  

Image credit: Tom Wesselmann (American, b.1931, d.2004), Landscape #5, 1965. Oil on canvas and Liquitex and collage on canvas; 84 x 144 1/2 x 18 in. Lent by Claire Wesselmann. © Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY, Photo Credit: Jeffrey Sturges.

Rose Eason is the coordinator of adult and college programs in the education department at the Denver Art Museum. Rose has been at the DAM since 2012 and her favorite artwork that has been on view here is Mud Woman Rolls On.