European & American Art Galleries, Level 6, North Building
The department of painting and sculpture oversees the European art collection before 1900 and the American art collection before 1945. Together they include more than 3,000 artworks and are composed of painting, sculpture, and prints.
The department also curates the internationally renowned Berger Collection of mostly British paintings, drawings, and medieval works of art, as well as a significant collection of predominantly French eighteenth- and nineteenth-century drawings on long-term loan to the museum by a private collector.
Throughout the years, gifts, bequests, purchases and acquisitions have shaped the European and American collections, from the early donation of Gustave Courbet’s Valley of the Black Pool in 1930 to the recent 2008 purchase of Lucien Lévy-Dhurmer’s The Dolomites.
The collection features significant French nineteenth-century works and important Renaissance and Old Master paintings, including the Samuel H. Kress collection of 37 paintings and sculptures, gifted to the Denver Art Museum in 1961. The collection also benefited from the bequest of Helen Dill, a Denver schoolteacher whose legacy allowed the purchase of several masterpieces, including Claude Monet’s Waterlilies, Camille Pissarro’s Autumn, Poplars, Éragny and Winslow Homer’s Two Figures by the Sea.
Things To Do
Following nearly one year of conservation treatment, an Italian masterwork discovered in the Denver Art Museum storage is on view. Since spring 2012, we have been writing updates about behind-the-scenes discoveries and decisions related to the restoration. More
British art comes into its own in the eighteenth century. For the first time artists born in Britain—Thomas Gainsborough, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Richard Wilson, to name a few—set the European standard in portraiture and landscape. Many of their most talented followers are on view in this new installation of paintings from the Berger Collection. More
See remarkable works created by women in Paris from 1850 to 1900, a time of great social, cultural, and artistic change. Her Paris: Women Artists in the Age of Impressionism will feature more than 80 paintings by 37 women artists from across Europe and America, who had migrated to this epicenter of art to further their careers. They range from well-known artists such as Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt, and Rosa Bonheur, to painters who are lesser-known in the United States, including Anna Ancher and Paula Modersohn-Becker. More
This exhibition will showcase prolific French artist Edgar Degas’ works from 1855 to 1906. More than 100 works consisting of paintings, drawings, pastels, etchings, monotypes, and sculptures in bronze will be on view. The DAM is the sole American venue for the exhibition. More
News & Stories
See a work by one of Bosch's followers on view at the DAM. More
The notion of place is important to many artists—Monet tirelessly painted his garden. O’Keeffe played out her love of New Mexico in paint. But it has never been made so powerfully concrete to me as when I traveled with Denver Art Museum colleagues to Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania and mid-coast Maine in preparation for the upcoming exhibition Wyeth: Andrew and Jamie in the Studio. More
The idea of reversibility is a very important concept in modern conservation practice. I chose materials with good and known aging characteristics, understanding that my work may need to be removed and/or redone, in the future. It is important that my conservation treatments are reversible. I know that the adhesive I chose to bond the original and lining canvases could be separated in the future and will not cause further harm to the artwork. More
It’s now time to move onto the structural phase of the conservation treatment for the Canaletto work. Structural work entails further securing of any loose media, such as paint or ground, and any repairs if necessary to the canvas and stretcher. Our Canaletto was lined in the past, which means that the original canvas was adhered to a secondary canvas. There are a variety of reasons historically why paintings were lined, but in the case of the Canaletto it was most likely due to the tear in the original canvas. More
I’ve been cleaning the Canaletto, taking my Q-tips to the surface and gently removing all of the restorer-applied discolored varnish and overpaint. Upon removal of some overpaint, an area discussed in our earlier video post, I discovered a turret, or tower. This is a pretty exciting discovery. More
In this post I will review (with pictures!) my findings. The techniques discussed were: normal, raking and specular illumination, ultraviolet-A radiation, and x-radiation. I was able to gather useful information from all of the techniques for my assessment. More
Recent publications on European and American art that the department has contributed expertise to include:
- Wyeth: Andrew & Jamie in the Studio, Timothy J. Standring. Denver Art Museum in association with Yale University Press, 2015.
- Castiglione: Lost Genius-Masterworks on Paper from the Royal Collection, Timothy J. Standring and Martin Clayton, 2015.
- Treasures of British Art, 1400–2000: The Berger Collection. Kathleen Stuart. Denver Art Museum, 2014.
- Daniel Sprick's Fictions: Recent Work. Timothy J. Standring. Denver Art Museum in association with Fresco Books, 2014.
- Nature as Muse: Inventing Impressionist Landscape. Christoph Heinrich. Denver Art Museum, 2013.
- Master Drawings from the Collection of Esmond Bradley Martin. Kathleen Stuart. Denver Art Museum, 2013.
- Companion to European Painting before 1800 at the Denver Art Museum. Angelica Daneo. Denver Art Museum, 2013.
- Becoming Van Gogh. Timothy J. Standring and Louis van Tilborgh. New Haven and Denver: Denver Art Museum in association with Yale University Press, 2012.
- The Helen Dill Bequest: A Schoolteacher’s Legacy. Nancy B. Tieken. Denver Art Museum, 2012.
- The Kress Collection at the Denver Art Museum. Angelica Daneo. Denver Art Museum, 2011.
- Inspiring Impressionism: The Impressionists and the Art of the Past. Edited by Ann Dumas. Denver Art Museum, 2007.
- Timothy J. Standring, Gates Foundation Curator of Painting & Sculpture
- Angelica Daneo, Curator of Painting & Sculpture
- Kathleen Stuart, Curator of the Berger Collection
- Emily Willkom, Curatorial Assistant for Painting & Sculpture
- Melora McDermott-Lewis, Chief Learning and Engagement Officer
- Lauren Thompson, Interpretive Specialist