December 2013: Explore Passport to Paris through Special Programming, Drawn to Action and New Fuse Box Exhibition Opens and Other Highlights

Note: The Denver Art Museum will be closed Christmas Day but open on New Year's Day.

Families can join in French-inspired activities with artist demonstrations, artmaking in the galleries and other surprises throughout Winter Break: Bienvenue, December 21 through January 5. In addition, on December 28, guests can create a powdered wig and decorate a fan in the French style of the king's court, learn basic French court dances and wear their creations while participating in a group dance performance. Visitors also can enjoy a special in-gallery theater experience presented in collaboration with Buntport Theater Company.

Claude Monet, Fishing Boats, 1883. Oil on canvas. Bequest of Frederic C. Hamilton.
The studios, Create-n-Takes artmaking activities and Family Activity Cart will be open every day during Winter Break. Kids 18 and younger receive free general admission during Winter Break; no reservations needed. A special ticket is required for Passport to Paris.

On Saturdays through February 9 at 1 p.m. (except January 4), Colorado Symphony musicians will offer performances for DAM visitors, with a series of afternoon concerts celebrating classical French music. A ticket to Passport to Paris is not required for the concerts.

Every day the museum is open, the Drawing Studio offers visitors the opportunity to browse a selection of contemporary and historic drawings, experiment with unconventional drawing techniques, and contribute to a collaborative mural in the Drawing Studio. On weekends, local artists demonstrate a variety of drawing techniques using different mediums.

December Schedule for Weekend Demonstrations

  • December 1: Jacinta Lobato — India Ink Drawing
  • December 7 & 8, 14 & 15: Ginny Abblett — Pastels
  • December 21 & 22, 28 & 29: Meredith Feniak — Scientific Illustration

Conversations with Curators: French Art on View at the DAM

December 6, 4 p.m.

Associate curator Angelica Daneo leads a discussion of the French works on view on level six of the North Building, paying special attention to masterworks by William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Gustave Doré and Eugène Carrière and Impressionist paintings by Alfred Sisley and Claude Monet. Conversations with Curators feature lively discussions with different curators on the first Friday of every month. Free with general admission; reservations are not required.

Fashionable Art: The Changing Silhouette of French Fashion, 1745–1915

December 12, 5:30 p.m.

During the 18th and 19th centuries, dressmaking techniques and understructures—such as bustles, corsets and crinolines—created distinct fashionable silhouettes that changed with each successive era. Sharon S. Takeda, senior curator and head of the costume and textiles department at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), presents an illustrated lecture highlighting historic dress from LACMA's collection and select paintings from the Court to Café exhibition. Free for Friends of Painting and Sculpture members; $5 students; $8 DAM members; $10 nonmembers.

Passport to Paris

This fall, a special trio of shows offers visitors to opportunity to view French art from the late 1600s to early 1900s and explore changes in art and society during three important centuries in art history. The suite of exhibitions brings together works from such acclaimed artists as Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Camille Pissarro and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

Court to Café: Three Centuries of French Masterworks from the Wadsworth Atheneum showcases 50 masterpieces from the collection of the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Conn., as well as select decorative arts of the period.

Nature as Muse: Impressionist Landscapes from the Frederic C. Hamilton Collection and the Denver Art Museum features more than 30 stunning artworks drawn from the private collection of Frederic C. Hamilton and the DAM's own holdings.

Drawing Room: An Intimate Look at French Drawings from the Esmond Bradley Martin Collection offers the chance for visitors to get close to 39 works-on-paper.

Passport to Paris will be on view through February 9, 2014. A special exhibition ticket includes access to all three exhibitions, the rest of the museum and an audio tour (in English and Spanish) for Court to Café. Timed entry is required for Court to Café. Large print, Braille, audio transcript and Spanish materials available for all three exhibitions. During the holidays, special expanded hours will be available. Tickets are on sale at the museum, at or by calling 720-913-0130.

New On View

James Victore, Racism, 1993. Screen print. © James Victore. AIGA Design Archives: Gift of AIGA.
Drawn to Action: Posters from the AIGA Design Archives

Opening December 15

The environment, literacy, peace and equality are just a few of the subjects that designers tackle in Drawn to Action: Posters from the AIGA Design Archives. With a touch of humor or with straightforward solemnity, the 35 posters in this exhibition demonstrate the inventive techniques designers use to provoke action.

Culled from the AIGA Design Archives at the Denver Art Museum—a collection of over 10,000 objects that represent one of the largest and finest holdings of contemporary American communication design from approximately 1980 to the present—Drawn to Action invites visitors to discover how design can be an extraordinary tool for change and to consider their own opinions on a broad range of issues. Drawn to Action will be on view through January 18, 2015.

Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook: Recent Video Works

Opening December 22

Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, Village and Elsewhere: Artemisia Gentileschi's Judith Beheading Holofernes, Jeff Koons' Untitled, and Thai Villagers, 2011. Single Channel Video; 19 min., 40 sec. Courtesy the artist and Tyler Rollins Fine Art.
Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook lives and works in Chiang Mai, Thailand. For the last 25 years she has been regarded as one of the leading video artists from Southeast Asia. The forthcoming installation in Fuse Box on level four of the Hamilton Building will include a selection of video projects from her Village and Elsewhere Series (2011) and The Two Planet Series (2008). Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook: Recent Video Works will be on view through June 29, 2014.

Special Events

Fabled Kingdoms: Luxury Arts of Peru's Northern Desert (Mayer Center Symposium)

December 7, 1:30–5 p.m.

A group of internationally recognized scholars will speak about ancient Peru's Chimu and Lambayeque states, which hosted numerous metal, ceramic and textile workshops. Their most luxurious products included gold and silver vessels and intricate tapestry garments, which were buried in lavish noble tombs. $20 for students; $45 Alianza members; $50 DAM members; $55 nonmembers. For details, visit or call 720-913-0156.

Native Arts Artist-in-Residence: Linda Aguilar

On-site December 17–22 (except Thursday), noon–4 p.m.

Explore the art of basket making with Chumash artist Linda Aguilar. Public hours daily except Thursday, with drop-in basket making activities on Saturday and Sunday.

Adult Programs

PreVIEW Talk: What's in Store: Behind-the-Scenes Textile Art Activities, Part II

December 4, 10:30–11:30 a.m., and December 18, 1:30–2:30 p.m.

Get a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how DAM staff prepares works of art for display. On a bi-weekly basis, visitors can observe and interact with conservation and other staff as they assess, handle, and treat objects from the textile art collection. Learn about tools, processes and equipment; special conditions necessary for fragile objects; and the general "hows and whys" of conservation. $5; space is limited. Call 720-913-0130 or visit to purchase tickets.

Drop-In Drawing: Perspective (monthly program)

December 10, 1 p.m.

In December, the topic of this drop-in program is linear perspective as visitors create drawings of the Denver cityscape looking out from Reiman Bridge. All experience levels welcome. Bring your own supplies or use one of the communal sketch pads available. This new hands-on program for adults will occur every month on the second Tuesday, focusing on a different topic each time. Meet on level one of the Hamilton Building. Included with general admission; reservations are not required.

Family Fun

Our Lady of Guadalupe Celebration

December 8, noon–2:30 p.m.

The DAM's celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe will include performances by Comparsa Morelos, Grupo Folklórico México Mixto and Danza Matachina Guadalupana. Free with general admission; no reservations are needed. For details, call 720-913-0072 or e-mail Sponsored by the DAM's Latino Outreach Committee. In addition, special tours in Spanish will be offered on Sundays at 2 p.m., December 8 through January 5.

Totspot Sunday

December 8, 10 a.m.–noon

Families with little ones are invited to join us for Totspot Sunday on the second Sunday of every month. Watch Buntport Theater perform in the galleries, then check out all of the other museum activities available for families. Included with general admission; children 5 and younger are always free. Reservations are not required. For more information, call 720-913-0130 or e-mail

Create Playdate: Sparkle

December 11, 10 a.m.–1 p.m.

Parents and toddlers, aged 3 to 5, are invited to meet up with other tots and their grown-ups to create art that shines, listen to stories and play art games in the galleries. Included with general admission; children 5 and younger are always free. Reservations are not required. For more information, call 720-913-0130 or e-mail

Free First Saturday

December 7, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

On the first Saturday of every month, enjoy the museum's 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).

Media Resources

Denver Art Museum

The Denver Art Museum is an educational, nonprofit resource that sparks creative thinking and expression through transformative experiences with art. Its holdings reflect the city and region—and provide invaluable ways for the community to learn about cultures from around the world. Denver metro citizens support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD), a unique funding source serving hundreds of metro Denver arts, culture and scientific organizations. For museum information, call 720-865-5000 or visit