The architecture, design, and graphics collection is displayed on level 2 and level 6 in the North Building. Works from the Middle Ages to the 1900s that represent major developments in style, form, material, and technique in European and North American furniture and decorative arts are presented on level 6 of the North Building. A series of rotating spaces on level 2 focuses on modern and contemporary architecture, furniture, and industrial and graphic design. These exhibition spaces showcase designers and movements from this period.
The collection includes the AIGA Design Archives at the DAM, comprising approximately 12,000 examples of communication design created from about 1980 to 2012. This collection includes work from all disciplines of communication design—packaging, corporate communications, brand and identity systems, editorial design and illustration, and experience design, among others. The materials reflect major design trends as well as many of the leading design firms and individual designers practicing during this period.
Highlights of the collection include:
- The Davis W. and Ellen N. Moore Collection of Georgian silver
- A series of architectural drawings by Frank Lloyd Wright
- Furniture and product designs by the late Italian designer Ettore Sottsass
- Several key works by Michael Graves
- More than 800 rock-and-roll posters from the psychedelic era
- A portfolio of original screen prints by Japanese architect Arata Isozaki
- Chairs designed by Marcel Breuer, Joe Colombo, Tom Dixon, Charles and Ray Eames, Finn Juhl, Danny Lane, Thom Mayne, George Nakashima, Pierre Paulin, Gio Ponti, Eero Saarinen, Borek Sipek, Shigeru Uchida, Robert Venturi, Hans Wegner, and many others
- Notable bodies of work by such influential graphic designers as Alvin Lustig, Saul Bass, Milton Glaser, Massimo Vignelli, Art Chantry, and Michael Bierut, among others
- Significant works by innovative Colorado designers, including a selection of posters by Colorado artist John Sorbie, an assortment of screen prints by experimental printer Rick Griffith, a portfolio of architectural prints by visionary architect and professor Douglas Darden, and architectural drawings by Arnold Ronnebeck, Jeffrey Sheppard, and George Hoover
News & Stories
What inspired designer Kiyoshi Kanai? More
Arrangements was on view in 2015. More
This article was written for the 2105 Design After Dark. More
Drawn to Action was on view Dec 15, 2013–Jan 18, 2015. More
Roaming through the museum’s North Building you may find yourself asking, “What’s with all the chairs?” I know I have. To answer this question for myself and all of you, I did a little digging into the history of design. As it turns out from reviewing Centuries and styles of the American chair, 1640-1970 by Robert Charles Bishop and 1000 chairs by Charlotte Fiell, a chair can say a lot. More
The exhibition Now Boarding: Fentress Airports + The Architecture of Flight takes visitors on a journey through six airports designed by Curtis Fentress. The designs featured meld art and practicality, embodying the regions they were designed for. More
These publications are available for purchase in the Shop.
- European Design Since 1985: Shaping the New Century. R. Craig Miller, Penny Sparke, Catherine McDermott. London: Merrell in association with the Denver Art Museum and the Indianapolis Museum of Art, 2009.
- US Design 1975–2000. R. Craig Miller, Rosemarie Haag Bletter, et al. New York: Prestel Verlag in association with the Denver Art Museum, 2001.
- Masterworks: Italian Design, 1960–1994. R. Craig Miller. New York: American Federation of Arts, 1996.
- Darrin Alfred, Curator of Architecture, Design and Graphics
- Kati Woock, Curatorial Assistant
- Ann Lambson, Interpretive Specialist