Bonfils-Stanton Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery, Levels 3 & 4, Hamilton Building
Renowned for its impressive collection of modern masterworks and outstanding contemporary objects, the modern and contemporary collection represents more than a century of artistic innovation. Encompassing over 12,500 works made since 1900, the museum’s collection includes works by such artistic luminaries as Pablo Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, Henri Matisse, and Georgia O’Keeffe, as well as 33 paintings, drawings, and collages by the acclaimed abstract-expressionist Robert Motherwell. The collection also holds representative works from the major post-war art movements, including abstract expressionism, minimalism, pop art, conceptual art, and contemporary realism.
It is also home to the Herbert Bayer Collection and Archive, a repository that counts over 8,000 objects in its collection.
Collection of Polly and Mark Addison
Among the early supporters of the newly formed department were Polly and Mark Addison, who joined other enthusiasts to found the Alliance for Contemporary Art (now named DAM Contemporaries) in 1978, a group whose fundraising activities have helped the department underwrite many important purchases and programs. In the early 2000s, the Denver Art Museum’s acquisition efforts were enhanced when the Addisons initiated an active gift-giving program. Colorado residents and long-time museum supporters, the Addisons are passionate, intelligent collectors of contemporary art in all media who generously share their finds—from time-based work and sculpture to installation art and photography—with the museum. Audience favorites such as Jim Green’s Singing Sinks (located on level one of the North Building) and Charles Sandison’s Chamber (conceived of and installed for the exhibitions Embrace! and Blink! Light, Sound and the Moving Image) are among the many important works the Addisons’ support has brought to the museum.
Collection of Vicki and Kent Logan
Learn more on the Logan Collection page.
Herbert Bayer Collection and Archive
The Herbert Bayer Collection and Archive contains over 8,000 works of art and design, along with extensive documentary material. This internationally important repository is dedicated to the legacy of the Austrian-born Bauhaus master who lived in Colorado for 28 years. The core of this collection and archive came through the artist’s bequest, and scholars visit from around the world to engage in research here. Selected works are displayed on the lower level of the Hamilton Building.
Born in 1900 in Austria, Herbert Bayer immigrated to the United States in 1938. He moved from New York to Aspen in 1946 at the behest of Walter Paepcke, chairman of the Container Corporation of America. Bayer’s influence is still evident today, especially at the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies.
Things To Do
(Re)kindle your creative passions in these informal sketching sessions on the second Tuesday of every month. Take inspiration from the galleries with the help of a DAM art instructor and tackle a new drawing topic every month. More
Join Teaching Specialist Molly Medakovich for an in-depth exploration of Robert Colescott's School Days. More
Celebrated for his multidisciplinary approach to art and design, Herbert Bayer called painting "the continuous link connecting all the facets of my work." The paintings presented in the exhibition give us a window into the personal side of this versatile artist. More
British artist Damien Hirst famously said, “Art survives through its effect on others.” As a leader in the contemporary art world, he, like his peers, considers making art a way to convey ideas about culture, human relationships, the environment, and politics. More
Soon after World War II, the center of the avant-garde shifted from Europe to the United States when the first American-grown modern art movement—abstract expressionism—was born. More
News & Stories
Citing Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and Mark Rothko as formative influences on her practice, she soon developed her revolutionary style of painting to create a prolific body of work. More
In the mid-to-late 1940s, Elaine de Kooning began her first abstract paintings and worked as an editorial associate at ARTnews. More
While working for the WPA, Krasner studied under Hans Hofmann, who ignited her interest in and exposure to the School of Paris art movement and the works of Picasso and Matisse. More
Read our conversation with Leonardo Drew and see his work in Showing Off through April 3. More
The Denver Art Museum recently announced that three curators joined the museum. Below is a brief introduction. Stay tuned for more information and opportunities to get to know them and their growing art collections.
Tianlong Jiao, Joseph de Heer Curator of Asian Art More
Ringing telephones beckon museum visitors who reach level 4 of the Denver Art Museum’s Hamilton Building. Though tucked around a wall, Christian Marclay’s video Telephones (1995), one of our recent modern and contemporary acquisitions, is nearly impossible to miss because of the familiar sounds it emits. More
Unless otherwise noted, all publications were published by the Denver Art Museum. Many of the titles are available to purchase in the Shop.
- Women of Abstract Expressionism. Edited by Joan Marter; Gwen Chanzit, curator. Denver Art Museum in association with Yale University Press, 2016.
- Nick Cave: Sojourn. Kyle MacMillan and William Morrow. Denver Art Museum, 2013.
- Collecting Ideas: Modern & Contemporary Works from the Polly and Mark Addison Collection. Nancy B. Tieken. Denver Art Museum, 2013.
- Companion to Focus: Robert Motherwell from the Collection. Nancy B. Tieken. Denver Art Museum, 2011.
- Companion to Focus: The Figure, Art from the Logan Collection. Nancy B. Tieken. Denver Art Museum, 2011.
- Overthrown: Clay Without Limits. Volumes I and II. Gwen Chanzit. Denver Art Museum, 2011.
- Companion to Blink! Light, Sound and the Moving Image. Jill Desmond. Denver Art Museum, 2011.
- Embrace! Volumes I and II. Christoph Heinrich, Denver Art Museum, 2009–2010.
- RADAR: Selections from the Collection of Vicki and Kent Logan. Dianne Perry Vanderlip, Gwen Chanzit, et al. Denver Art Museum, 2007.
- From Bauhaus to Aspen: Herbert Bayer and Modernist Design in America. Gwen F. Chanzit. Boulder: Johnson Books, 2005.
- The View from Denver: Contemporary American Art from the Denver Art Museum. Dianne Perry Vanderlip et al. Denver Art Museum/Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, 1997.
- Visions of America: Landscape as Metaphor in the Late Twentieth Century. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., in association with the Denver Art Museum and the Columbus Museum of Art, 1994.
- Rebecca R. Hart, Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art
- Gwen F. Chanzit, Ph.D., Curator of Modern Art and the Herbert Bayer Collection and Archive
- Danielle St. Peter, Interpretive Specialist
- Renée Miller, Curatorial Assistant
- Kaitlin Maestas, Curatorial Assistant
- Julie Augur, Adjunct Curator, Drawings
- Hugh Grant, Adjunct Curator, Kirkland Collection
- William Morrow, Polly and Mark Addison Associate Curator of Contemporary Art 2012–2014
- Jessica Brunecky, DAM Contemporaries 2010–2014
- Christoph Heinrich, The Polly and Mark Addison Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art 2007–2009
- Dianne Vanderlip, The Polly and Mark Addison Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art 1978–2007