December 2014: Enjoy a Glittering Holiday Season at the DAM This Year

The Denver Art Museum (DAM) offers many opportunities to make your holidays bright this month: the world-exclusive exhibition Brilliant: Cartier in the 20th Century, Glitterati: Portraits & Jewelry from Colonial Latin America, Winter Break: All That Glitters and Create Playdate: Gems and Jewels.

Brilliant: Cartier in the 20th Century features stunning jewelry, timepieces and precious objects created between 1900 and 1975. This exhibition highlights Cartier’s rise to preeminence—and the historical events pushing the Maison’s, or design house's, evolution—as it transformed itself into one of the world’s most prestigious names in jewelry and accessories. An audio tour is available in English and Spanish. Expanded holiday hours will be offered; see below for details. Special timed and dated exhibition tickets are available at the museum, at or by calling 720-913-0130. #DAMBrilliant

Crocodile necklace worn by María Félix. Cartier Paris, special order, 1975. Gold, diamonds, emeralds, rubies; L .30 cm. and 27.3 cm. (each seg.) Made as a special order for María Félix. Cartier Collection. Photo: Nick Welsh, Cartier Collection © Cartier.

Give the gift of glamour with the exquisitely illustrated Brilliant catalog, available in hardcover and deluxe slipcase editions at The Shop at the Denver Art Museum and online at Or treat your friends and family to a full year of art exploration with a gift membership to the museum. Benefits include discounts at The Shop, free general admission, members-only programs and more. Learn more at or call 720-913-0130.

Tiara, Colombia or Ecuador, about 1690. Silver gilt, emeralds, pearls. Gift of Robert J. Stroessner.

Glitterati: Portraits & Jewelry from Colonial Latin America opens Dec. 7. During the Spanish Colonial period in Latin America (1521–1850), precious gold and silver were crafted into elegant jewelry then embellished with emeralds from Colombia, coral from Mexico, and pearls from Venezuela. Wanting to demonstrate their wealth and status, people were painted wearing their finest dress and elaborate jewelry. Women were portrayed adorned with tiaras, necklaces with pendants and prominent earrings. Men proudly displayed watch fobs, hat ornaments, rings and chatelaines (decorative belt hooks) with small tools similar to the modern Swiss Army knife. Priests wore gold crucifixes and rosaries while nuns had miniature paintings of the Virgin Mary and saints crafted into brooches called nun’s badges. Inlaid and lacquered chests and boxes were used to store these luxury goods. Drawn from the DAM’s world-renowned Spanish Colonial collection, the portraits, furniture, and jewelry on view in Glitterati tell the fascinating story of people and luxury possessions in the New World. Glitterati text available in Spanish. Exhibition is included in museum admission.


Create Playdate: Gems and Jewels

Dec. 10, 10 a.m.–1 p.m.

Drop in with your little ones, aged 3 to 5, to create art that drips with Gems and Jewels, read stories and play art games in the galleries. Included with general admission; kids five and younger are always free. Bilingual activities (Spanish) today. No reservations required. For more information, e-mail or call 720-913-0130.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, 19th century, Puebla, Mexico. Ceramic; 29-1/2 x 24 in. Denver Art Museum; gift of Mrs. Frank Woodward. 1928.14

Our Lady of Guadalupe Celebration 2014 and Free Tours

Dec. 14, 2–4 p.m.

The DAM’s celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe will include performances by Dancing Across Cultures, Grupo Tláloc Danza Azteca and Danza Matachina Guadalupana, among others. During the celebration (Dec. 14, 2014–Jan. 4, 2015), enjoy free general admission with voucher (Brilliant not included) and free tours in Spanish on Dec. 14, 21, 28 and Jan. 4, all at 2 p.m. For details, e-mail or call 720-913-0072. Sponsored by DAM’s Latino Outreach Committee.

Winter Break: All That Glitters

Dec. 20, 2014–Jan. 4, 2015

During winter break, come create in the Jewelry Studio, dive into artmaking in the galleries at the Create-n-Takes, and check out Family Backpacks and Art Tubes at the Family Activity Cart. Watch for special performances by Buntport Theater and storytelling in the galleries. Bilingual family activities will be available. Included in general admission; free general admission for kids 18 and under throughout Winter Break (special exhibition ticket required for Brilliant).

Jewelry Studio & Weekend Artist Demonstrations Through March 15, 2015

Visitors can explore their creativity in the hands-on studio space on level 1 of the Hamilton Building offering an up-close look at jewelry. Every weekend local artists will demonstrate their techniques from noon to 3 p.m.

December Demonstration Schedule

  • Dec. 6 & 7: Michael Boyd – Setting Stone on Stone
  • Dec. 13 & 14: Jesse Mathes – Large Scale Metal Adornments
  • Dec. 20 & 21, 27 & 28: Gail Siegel – Contemporary Metal Collage

Expanded Holiday Hours for Brilliant and the Hamilton Building

Whether you have out-of-town guests or simply want to spend some time around the holidays at the museum yourself, expanded hours will make that easier. The North Building will close at the usual time, but the entire Hamilton Building—including Matisse and Friends—will be open during these expanded hours. Advance ticket purchase for Brilliant recommended.

  • Nov. 28 and 29: 10 a.m.–9 p.m.
  • Dec. 26, 27, 30 and Jan. 1: 10 a.m.–9 p.m.
  • Dec. 28 and 31: 10 a.m.–7 p.m.


Pop-Up Exhibit - The Art of Remembrance: 150 Years Since Sand Creek

Through Dec. 3

November 2014 marked the 150th anniversary of the Sand Creek massacre, a military action that has had a lasting effect on the Cheyenne and Arapaho peoples. This exhibition presents the works of five Cheyenne and Arapaho artists—Brent Learned, George Levi, Nathan Hart, Merlin Little Thunder and B.J. Stepp—whose work reflects on those impacts and the experiences of their communities before, during and after the massacre. Visit the Native Arts Artist-in-Residence studio on level 3 of the North Building to see this one-month-only pop-up exhibition.

Drawn to Action: Posters from the AIGA Design Archives

Through Jan. 18, 2015

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 posters in this exhibition demonstrate the inventive techniques designers use to provoke action and invite viewers to discover how design can be an extraordinary tool for change.

Matisse and Friends: Selected Masterworks from the National Gallery of Art

Through Feb. 8, 2015

Matisse and Friends showcases 14 paintings from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., by artists Henri Matisse, André Derain, Albert Marquet, Maurice de Vlaminck, Raoul Dufy, Georges Braque and Kees van Dongen. These artists shocked the art world with their raw approach and triggered a succession of innovative movements in modern art. Working in and around Paris at the turn of the 20th century, they were part of a creative community that sought to redefine painting, favoring an expressive style that emphasized loose brushwork and bold colors. Audio and printed exhibition materials are available in English and Spanish. Matisse and Friends is included in general admission; no reservations are required. #SitWithMatisse

Matisse and Friends-related programming

Several of the DAM’s regularly scheduled half-hour Nooner Tours focus on Matisse and Friends this month.

  • Dec. 10 & 12: Matisse and Friends: Andre Derain’s Cityscapes
  • Dec. 17 & 19: Matisse and Friends: Dufy and Marquet

Meet in the atrium on level 1 of the Hamilton Building. Nooner Tours, presented on Wednesday and Friday, are included in general admission; no reservations are required.

William Matthews: Trespassing

Through May 17, 2015

William Matthews: Trespassing presents selected works from his early career to his most recent paintings. Matthews began working as a graphic designer but dedicated himself to watercolor painting in 1990. The 27 artworks on view exemplify the Colorado resident’s expertise and sophisticated understanding of watercolor technique. His main focus has been subjects found in the American West: working cowboys, ranches, rural architecture and the landscape. William Matthews: Trespassing is included in general admission; no reservations are required.


Thomas Hudson, The Radcliffe Family, c. 1742. Oil on canvas; 114-1/2 x 171.375 in. Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Trust, 2019.7

Conversation with Curator: Thomas Hudson's The Radcliffe Family

Dec. 5, 4 p.m.

Learn the story behind one of the most popular paintings in the Berger Collection from curator Kathleen Stuart. Discover who’s pictured, learn how to identify the boys and girls and hear why the baby of the family is not dressed. Conversations with Curators feature lively discussions with different curators on the first Friday of the month. All Conversations are free with general admission and no reservations are needed. Meet at 4 p.m. in the elevator lobby on level 6 of the North Building.

Textile Talk: South Asian Textile Discoveries

Dec. 10, 10:30 a.m.

Join Dale Carolyn Gluckman, former head of the department of costume and textiles at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and a senior adviser to the Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles in Bangkok, Thailand, as she reveals discoveries made while examining textiles from South Asia in the DAM’s collection. Tickets are $5. Pre-registration online, at the museum or by calling 720-913-0130 required.

Curator’s Circle: Modern Korean Lacquer Art

With Choi Jong-Kwan and Family

Dec. 16, 6:30 p.m.

Choi Jong-Kwan, his wife Kim Kyoung-Ja, son Choi Min-Woo and daughter Choi Da-Young follow a family tradition of Korean lacquer art. They will describe their individual interests in creating modern lacquerware and their interconnection as a family of artists. The lecture will be followed by a reception. Free, but reservations required.

Native Arts Artist-in-Residence: Duane Maktima

Dec. 9, 2014–Feb. 22, 2015

Drop-in bracelet-making workshop Dec. 20, noon–4 p.m.

This winter, award-winning jeweler Duane Maktima joins the Native Arts Artist-in-Residence Program, working on-site to create new pieces and share his hand-crafted jewelry-making and metal-sculpting techniques with visitors. Stop by to see the artist at work Dec. 16–20 or drop in Dec. 20 from noon–4 p.m. for a bracelet making workshop. The Artist-in-Residence program is generously supported by the Virginia Hill Charitable Foundation, Colorado Creative Industries and National Endowment for the Arts.


Free First Saturday

Dec. 6, 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! Be sure to check out some of the museum’s many family and kid-friendly activities, available daily and weekends. Free general admission tickets are available on-site starting at 10 a.m. (A special exhibition ticket is required for Brilliant.) A Collection Highlights tour in Spanish is offered at 2 p.m. Free First Saturdays are sponsored by Target and made possible by the citizens who support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD).

Fox Tale Sunday

Dec. 14, 10 a.m.–noon

Families are invited to stop by the museum on the second Sunday of the month, October through May, for in-gallery performances by Buntport Theater starring Foxy and Shmoxy (inspired by the DAM’s artwork Fox Games) at 10:30 or 11:30 a.m. Check in at the Family Activity Cart to get a special letter from the Fox Box and follow the clues to find the foxes! Afterwards, check out all of the other activities available to families in the museum, including the Fox Games Art Tube. Included with museum admission; kids five and younger are always free. No reservations required.

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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