December 2012: Expanded Hours for Becoming Van Gogh, Holiday Shopping, Our Lady of Guadalupe Celebration, Winter Break and Other Highlights

Becoming Van Gogh, an in-depth exploration of Vincent van Gogh’s unconventional path to becoming one of the world’s most recognizable artists, is now on view in a world-exclusive engagement at the Denver Art Museum (DAM) through January 20.

Vincent van Gogh, Vase with gladioli and China asters, 1886. Oil on canvas. Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation).
Due to high demand, the DAM has expanded the hours for Becoming Van Gogh during the holiday season, staying open until 9 p.m. most nights. The exhibition, which examines critical steps in the largely self-taught artist’s evolution, includes more than 70 paintings and drawings by Van Gogh along with works by artists he responded to. Timed and dated tickets are required; tickets are available on-site, online at or over the phone by calling 720-865-5120 or 720-913-0130. There is a $3 per ticket fee for booking over the phone. Purchasing tickets in advance is strongly recommended to guarantee entry.

Tickets to Becoming Van Gogh include general admission. During extended hours, the entire Hamilton Building will remain open for visitors to enjoy, including the 40-year retrospective El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You about Africa, now on view through January 6. The North Building will close at the regularly scheduled time.

Paint Studio and Weekend Artist Demonstrations

In the Paint Studio, visitors can dive into the creative process and explore assorted techniques and mediums, see tools used by artists and photographs of their workspaces, play with paint or contribute to a larger-than-life masterpiece. Each weekend local artists will demonstrate different painting techniques in a variety of mediums. Free with general admission. No reservations are required.

Demonstrations in December

Chuck Ceraso: Oil Painting — December 1 and 2

Carlos Fresquez: Painting with Acrylic — December 8 and 9, 15 and 16, 22 and 23, 29 and 30

Annual Member Holiday Shopping Event

December 3, 2–8 p.m.

Select one-of-a-kind pieces designed by local artists and browse an array of great gifts for kids or adults at both shop locations. The curator of Becoming Van Gogh will sign catalogues 2–5 p.m. in the Hamilton Museum Shop. Enjoy holiday music, refreshments and complimentary gift wrap. For one day only, members receive a 20 percent discount plus the chance to draw for additional discounts. Free admission for museum members only; join on-site to receive immediate benefits. Reservations are not required; call 720-913-0130 for more information.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Celebration

December 9, 11:30 a.m.–4 p.m.

The DAM’s celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe will include performances by Aplausos de Colorado Children’s Chorale, Comparza Morelos, Danza Matachina Guadalupana and Dancing Across Cultures. Visit the museum website for a full schedule of performances. Free with general admission. No reservations needed. For details, email or call 720-913-0072. Sponsored by DAM’s Latino Outreach Committee, Mexican Cultural Center and the Consulate General of Mexico.

In honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, free tours of the New World galleries will be offered at 1 p.m. in Spanish on December 9, 16, 23 and 30, and January 6.

Conversation with Curator: The Unknown Castiglione

December 7, 4 p.m.

Conversations with Curators feature discussions with different curators on the first Friday of every month. In December, join curator Timothy Standring for a presentation on the life and art of Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione (1609-64). The lecture will examine the prints and drawings of an artist, perhaps the most innovative and technically brilliant Italian draftsman of his time, whose turbulent and violent life led him throughout the Italian peninsula. Free with general admission; no reservations are needed. Meet at 4 p.m. in Sharp Auditorium in the lower level of the Hamilton Building. For information, call 720-913-0130.

Winter Break: Just Add Color

December 22–January 6

With school out, stop by to join in Van Gogh-inspired activities, play with color on an interactive family tour, participate in creating a family music and art concert and craft your very own artist’s portfolio to collect and store all your creations. General admission is free for kids 18 and under during Winter Break.

Create Playdate: Shine

December 12, 10 a.m.–1 p.m.

Drop in with your little ones, aged 3 to 5, and meet up with other tots and their grown-ups as we look for art that sparkles. Make your own decorative art, listen to stories and play art games in the galleries! Free with general admission; children 5 and under are always free. Reservations are not required. For more information, e-mail or call 720-913-0130.

Opening in December: More Scapes and Rocky Mountain Majesty: The Paintings of Charles Partridge Adams

Opening December 2, More Scapes—an extended selection of Scapes (landscapes, seascapes, skyscapes)—further explores the varied visions of American landscape. Artists expand the snapshot to create emotional as well as figurative landscapes. The earlier works of Charles Burchfield, Arthur Dove and John Marin display an energy and novelty that is picked up decades later by Louisa Chase, Mollie Favour, Michael Mazur and Alan Saret. Joe Zucker’s pegboard work with its multiple vignettes pouring out of pegboard holes pulls the viewer into intimate scenes, as John Torreano’s star nebula coaxes one into outer space. William Allan and Richard Artschwager introduce obscure narratives and mystery in their drawings, while Alexis Rockman portrays the chill of a glacier. More Scapes, which is included in general admission, will be on view through March 31, 2013.

Charles Partridge Adams, Gathering Storm Near the San Juan Mountains, date not known. Private collection, Colorado, represented by Saks Galleries.
Charles Partridge Adams was a Colorado landscape painter active during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Opening December 16, Rocky Mountain Majesty: The Paintings of Charles Partridge Adams marks the first time that Adams’ masterworks will be displayed together at a major art museum. The DAM will be the sole venue for this important exhibition that showcases his greatest paintings of Colorado. Best known for his paintings of Colorado mountains including Longs Peak near Estes Park, Adams was a highly prolific painter who created more than a thousand paintings during his lifetime. The DAM will exhibit 37 of Adams’ very best oil and watercolor paintings highlighting the diversity of his oeuvre, which includes such styles as realism, tonalism and impressionism. The exhibition will be on view through September 8, 2013, and is included in general admission.

Closing Soon: Theodore Waddell’s Abstract Angus

Through December 2

Gleaning elements from abstract expressionism during his time in New York, Theodore Waddell returned home to his native Montana and created works of nearly abstract backgrounds that suggest the landscape. By painting figures that symbolized cattle in snow-filled backgrounds, the painter walks the line of abstraction and realism. This exhibition includes 23 of Waddell’s abstract paintings, sketches and drawings that challenge the common perception that all western American art is created in a realistic style. Theodore Waddell's Abstract Angus runs through December 2, 2012.

El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You about Africa

Extended Through January 6

El Anatsui, Zebra Crossing III, 2007. Aluminum and copper wire; 61 x 17 in. Photo by Jeff Wells.
El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You about Africa brings together the full range of the artist’s work from early wood trays to ceramics and wooden sculptures to the luminous metal wall sculptures that have brought him international acclaim. The 61 works cover all phases of the artist’s career, from his early work in Ghana utilizing traditional symbols to found driftwood works made in Denmark to sculptures created with a chainsaw. This is the first opportunity for audiences to see how the artist’s ideas have developed over four decades. This first retrospective of the artist offers an unprecedented opportunity to follow Anatsui’s creative development and process over 40 years. El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You about Africa is included in general admission

Free First Saturday

December 1, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

On the first Saturday of every month, you can enjoy our art collections and non-ticketed exhibitions without spending a dime! Free general admission tickets are available on-site starting at 10 a.m. Free First Saturdays are sponsored by Target and made possible by the citizens who support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD).