In its sole American appearance, Degas: A Passion for Perfection at the Denver Art Museum (DAM) showcases more than 100 works, dating from 1855 to 1906, by prolific French artist Edgar Degas.
The paintings, drawings, pastels, etchings, monotypes and sculptures—including well-known masterpieces—focus on the most prominent and recurring themes throughout Degas’ career. These include his interest in learning from both the art of the past and that of his contemporaries, a lifelong fascination with the nude, a passion for horses and a strong interest in opera and dance.
Visitors can follow Degas’ transformation from a portraitist and painter of historical subjects to one interested in the contemporary life of late 19th-century Paris. By experimenting constantly throughout his career Degas developed techniques that allowed him to capture modern subject matter such as café concerts, street scenes with new electric lamps, sporting events and theatrical settings through sharp and precise lighting.
Additional works on view by J.A.D. Ingres, Eugène Delacroix and Paul Cézanne add depth to the exhibition’s narrative.
An accompanying book is available in The Shop and online. A dated and timed special exhibition ticket—which includes an audio guide (for families and adults) and general admission—is required for Degas: A Passion for Perfection.
March 30, 5-6 p.m. (doors open at 4:30 p.m.)
Julie Codell, professor of art history at Arizona State University, looks at the late 19th-century Americans who collected artwork by Edgar Degas and explores how these collectors’ choices, sources and ideas about Degas as an Impressionist shaped the artist’s early reputation in America. Lecture is included in general admission; special exhibition ticket required for entry to Degas. Sponsored by Friends of Painting and Sculpture, a DAM support group.
April 14, 21 & May 12, 19, 2:30–4 p.m. (registration now open)
Delve into the world of Edgar Degas in this four-part spring course that will explore the influences, evolution and independence of the iconic artist. Participants will learn about his complex approach to contemporary themes, his masterful experimentation across mediums and techniques and the strong dualities of his personality and style of working. $75 members/$85 nonmembers for full four-session course. Single session tickets will go on sale April 2, pending availability.
Sessions take place in Sharp Auditorium; tickets to exhibition sold separately.
Through April 1
Time is running out to see Linking Asia: Art, Trade, and Devotion, which explores how trade routes inspired and influenced art over time and across the Asian continent. Linking Asia dives deeper into the exchange of ideas, beliefs, and techniques along trade routes, which profoundly affected the development of Asian art.
Featuring approximately 150 sculptures, ceramics, textiles and scrolls from 20 countries that span more than 2,500 years, the presentation considers themes such as artistic inspiration and cross-cultural hybridization of styles, trade by land and sea, ink art trends in East Asia and religious links before the 20th century.
Works on view include visitor favorite Shiva, King of Dancers (Shiva Nataraja) and many on view for the first time, such as objects from three shipwrecks. A catalog is available in The Shop at the Denver Art Museum and online.
Admission to Linking Asia is included in general admission, which is free for youth 18 and younger.
Opening March 25
Drawn to Glamour: Fashion Illustrations by Jim Howard presents award-winning editorial work by artist Jim Howard, a well-respected member of Denver’s fashion community. More than 100 works on paper highlight Howard’s four-decade fashion illustration career, starting with his early advertising campaigns for Neiman Marcus in the late 1950s, and through the ’70s and ’80s when the fashion illustration industry was at its height.
While working as a freelance artist, major department stores including Saks Fifth Avenue, Bonwit Teller, B. Altman and Company and LA-based Bullocks employed Howard to create illustrations for fashion houses, such as Dior, Oscar de la Renta, Calvin Klein and Yves Saint Laurent. The exhibition offers a nostalgic look at fashion trends set by top ready-to-wear designers, high-end fashion retailers and cosmetic companies.
Drawn to Glamour also features eight looks from the DAM’s fashion collection and four men’s silhouettes on loan from private lenders that capture the essence of some of the most iconic trends of the late ’50s to the early ’80s. Included in general admission, which is free for youth 18 and younger.
ALSO ON VIEW
Through July 8, 2018
The first in a multi-year contemporary art exhibition series, Eyes On: Xiaoze Xie features still-life paintings of books, videos and installations that the artist based on banned and forbidden books in China. Xiaoze Xie has a lifelong passion for books. In his worldview, books are conveyers of prestige and signifiers of collective cultural knowledge: repositories of historical meaning, cultural conflict and political strife.
Born in a small town in Guangdong Province, China, at the beginning of the Chinese Cultural Revolution in 1966, Xie now splits his time between studios in Beijing and Palo Alto, California, where he is the Paul L. & Phyllis Wattis Professor of Art at Stanford University. Included in general admission, which is free for youth 18 and younger.
EYES ON-RELATED PROGRAMMING
Tracing Forbidden Memories (film screening)
March 3, 2–3 p.m.
Contemporary artist Xiaoze Xie has extended his scholarly practice into research about books and types of information that remain restricted in China today. The film Tracing Forbidden Memories follows the course of the artist's investigation of banned books in China. Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Eyes On: Xiaoze Xie, the film will be screened again on June 2. Both March 3 and June 2 are Free First Saturdays and no additional ticket is required for the screening.
ADULT PROGRAMS AND LECTURES
March 11, 10:30–11:30 a.m.
Unwind with a meditation session in the galleries led by our partners from the Kadampa Meditation Center. Whether you are a first-timer to meditation or enjoy a regular practice, all are welcome at this "happiness hour" of relaxation, reflection and calm. Chairs, yoga mats and meditation cushions provided. Included in general admission; free for members. No registration necessary, but space is limited.
March 15, 6:30 p.m.
Dr. Gerardo Gutierrez & Dr. Mary Pye will discuss studying ancient pigments to interpret Mesoamerica and New Spain from Olmec paintings in the caves of Guerrero to the genealogy of the kings of Azcapotzalco in the Codex Garcia Granados. Tickets available at the door; free for Alianza members and students with ID, $5–$10 for others. Sponsored by Alianza de las Artes Americanas, a DAM support group.
March 19, 5:30 p.m.
How best to care for Carpaccio’s 15th-century narrative cycle of nine canvases illustrating the story of Saint Ursula has occupied conservation professionals for nearly 500 years, from the first documented restoration treatment in 1521, to Save Venice’s current conservation efforts. Melissa Conn, director of the Venice office of the American organization Save Venice Inc., will illustrate the discoveries and results of this ongoing campaign. Free admission, but limited seating; reservations suggested. Sponsored by Save Venice.
March 20, 1 p.m.
Join us on the third Tuesday of each month for Mindful Looking as we slow down and savor a single work of art. This month, join interpretive specialist Ann Lambson as we delve into Nicolas Rodriguez Juarez’s monumental Adoration of the Shepherds—a painting full of rich details, symbolism and meaning. Included in general admission; free for members.
March 30, 6–10 p.m.
This month at Untitled, contemporary fiber and performance artist Steven Frost’s creative takeover explores “Material Frequency” with hands-on artmaking and creative explorations of textile and electronic arts at our third installment of artist-led Untitled Final Fridays. Produced with local creatives, Untitled Final Fridays is the museum's monthly late night program featuring workshops, performances and tours with a twist. Experience the museum in an entirely different way—every time. Included in general admission; free for members and youth 18 and younger. College students with ID receive 2-for-1 admission to Untitled Final Fridays.
March 3, 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! Check out some of the DAM’s many family-friendly activities and enjoy bilingual fun with a free Spanish language tour of Stampede: Animals in Art at 1 p.m., Create-n-Takes and the storytelling program Cuentos del Arte at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Free general admission tickets are available onsite starting at 10 a.m. (Special exhibition ticket required for Degas: A Passion for Perfection.)
Free First Saturday is made possible by Your 6 Hometown Toyota Stores and the citizens who support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD). #ThanksSCFD #GraciasSCFD
March 11, 10:30 and 11:30 a.m.
Two smart and hilarious foxes are ready to solve art mysteries in the galleries. Bring the whole family to help Foxy and Shmoxy sniff out clues and unseen treasures in the museum. To find the foxes, pick up a letter from the Fox Box on level 1 and follow the riddles into the galleries. Included in general admission; kids 18 and younger free. No reservations required.
March 14, 10 a.m.–1 p.m.
Drop in with your little ones, aged 3 to 5, on the second Wednesday of the month. Meet up with other tots and their grownups for story time, artmaking and more! Included in general admission; kids 18 and younger free. No reservations required.
March 17–April 1, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
While school's out, we're in! See performances of the family-friendly museum theater play, Art Emergency: Stampede Edition, Mon-Fri. at 11 a.m. Plus, Create-n-Takes and The 3-D Studio are open every day during spring break. Included in general admission; kids 18 and younger free. No reservations required.
The DAM is looking for its next Creative-in-Residence to work with the museum and its visitors from April to September 2018. Creatives from any discipline with a demonstrable interest in participatory and/or socially engaged practice and who currently live and work in the Denver metro area and can commute to the museum during the entire residency period are eligible to apply. Deadline for applications is March 13, 2018 at noon. Visit the museum website for details on the application process. Email email@example.com with your application and/or with specific questions about this opportunity.
Through May 19, 2019
Explore the expansive and varied realm of 3-D art in the 3-D Studio. Build an abstract sculpture at our Purely Paper activity, draw inspiration from Stampede to create your own animal at Wound in Wire or work together with family and friends to contribute to a collaborative sculpture designed by artist Pam Fortner.
Every weekend you can see an artist work on 3-D art, from sculpture, to 3-D printing, to drawings that turn 3-D right before your eyes! Included in general admission; kids 18 and younger free. No reservations required.
Weekend Artist Demonstrations in March – Saturdays & Sundays, noon-3 p.m.
March 3-4: David Ocelotl Garcia, Clay Sculpture
March 10-11: Mohammad Saffa, Molding and Casting
March 17-18: Carolyn Michaels, Needle Felting
March 24-25: Barbara Gilhooly, Wire Sculpture
March 31-April 1: James Moulton, 3-D Ink Drawing
Note: This is an overview of March happenings and does not include all exhibitions, events and programs available at the DAM this month. Please visit the museum website for complete information.
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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 denverartmuseum.org.Download PDF of press release.