Past Exhibitions

  • Mud to Masterpiece: Mexican Colonial Ceramics

    Mud to Masterpiece: Mexican Colonial Ceramics

    June 11, 2011–February 17, 2013

    Columbus’s encounter with the Americas and Magellan’s circumnavigation of the world marked the beginning of the modern era of global trade. Mexico sat at the crossroads where Asian objects traversed the Pacific, European goods came over the Atlantic, and Mexican products were exported in return. Objects from all these areas came together in colonial Mexico, inspiring local artists to alter and mingle details in new ways. Nowhere is this new dynamic more evident than in art made from clay. More

  • Laleh Mehran: Men of God, Men of Nature

    Laleh Mehran: Men of God, Men of Nature

    May 20, 2012–February 17, 2013

    Men of God, Men of Nature is a site-specific work designed by Laleh Mehran especially for the Fuse Box. The daughter of Iranian scientists, Mehran has lived most of her life in the U.S. and has been a professor at the University of Denver since 2007. Her complex relationship with political, scientific, and theological concepts drives her work that often has an interactive component. Her works are intended to be meditative and seductive, inviting viewers to consider their own relationship to the issues she presents. More

  • Becoming Van Gogh

    Becoming Van Gogh

    October 21, 2012–January 20, 2013

    An in-depth exploration of Vincent van Gogh’s unconventional path to becoming one of the world’s most recognizable artists, Becoming Van Gogh examines critical steps in his artistic evolution through more than 70 paintings and drawings by Van Gogh, along with works by artists to whom he responded such as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Camille Pissarro. Becoming Van Gogh brings together loans from more than 60 public and private collections throughout Europe and North America to tell the story of a number of key formative periods throughout the artist’s career. More

  • Dana Schutz: If the Face Had Wheels

    Dana Schutz: If the Face Had Wheels

    November 11, 2012–January 13, 2013

    Dana Schutz combines fantasy and reality, humor and horror, to create figurative paintings that abound with expressionist energy. Her distinctive visual style is characterized by vibrant color and raw and tactile brushwork. Schutz’s subjects spring from an absurdist sensibility as she invents imaginary stories or hypothetical situations that are bizarre and impossible, yet oddly compelling. This first 10-year survey features 31 paintings and 9 drawings created since 2001 and will include work from each of her inventive series. More

  • El Anatsui

    El Anatsui

    When I Last Wrote to You about Africa
    September 9, 2012–January 6, 2013

    The first retrospective of El Anatsui’s work, this exhibition includes important sculptures in wood, ceramic, and mixed media as well as major pieces from his bottle-top series. 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 made using the chainsaw as a carving tool. This is the first opportunity for audiences to see how the artist’s ideas have developed over four decades. More

  • Theodore Waddell’s Abstract Angus

    Theodore Waddell’s Abstract Angus

    May 20, 2012–December 2, 2012

    Theodore Waddell arrived in New York in the early 1960s, only a short decade after abstract expressionists like Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell, and Clyfford Still dominated the art world. Gleaning elements from this art movement, 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. More

  • Sleight of Hand

    Sleight of Hand

    April 9, 2011–November 25, 2012

    Meet 14 contemporary artists whose works surprise the eye while challenging and intriguing our powers of perception. Masters of alchemy who employ materials ranging from anticipated to astonishing, these artists push time-honored textile techniques—embroidery, quilting, weaving, netting, crochet, coiling, and ikat—to unexpected extremes and invent new methods to achieve their creative vision. More

  • Scapes


    June 17, 2012–November 25, 2012

    Landscapes, seascapes, even skyscapes and dreamscapes, occupy our imagination. These worlds are presented in drawings by 16 artists on view in the works-on-paper gallery. Some works convey a sense of place using no more than a simple graphic line, as demonstrated by Roy Lichtenstein and Saul Steinberg; others inject atmospheric effects as seen in examples by Richard Artschwager, Jennifer Bartlett, and Alexis Rockman. Keith Hale's huge ethereal nightscape conjures up the magic of light in the middle of the night. Still others connect to Colorado, like this drawing by Christo. More

  • Blue & White: A Ceramic Journey

    Blue & White: A Ceramic Journey

    June 11, 2011–October 14, 2012

    The technique of creating blue-and-white ceramics was a great innovation of Chinese ceramic history and they became a vital component of China’s export trade. Blue and White: A Ceramic Journey conveys the popularity of blue-and-white pottery throughout the centuries in different parts of the world. The exhibit will feature objects ranging from early periods of blue-and-white ceramic production to present day examples. More

  • Now Boarding

    Now Boarding

    Fentress Airports + The Architecture of Flight
    July 15, 2012–October 7, 2012

    An exhibition that will change how travelers view airports and their design, Now Boarding: Fentress Airports + The Architecture of Flight takes visitors on a journey through the history of airports aided by film, digital art, animation, models, drawings, photographs, and full-scale architectural elements. More

  • Garry Winogrand: Women are Beautiful

    Garry Winogrand: Women are Beautiful

    January 29, 2012–September 30, 2012

    Garry Winogrand photographed in crowds and on the street from his early days as a New York magazine freelancer in the 1950s to his last years in Los Angeles. When he sensed the composition of a picture falling into place, Winogrand would quickly raise his camera to his eye and take candid photos of anonymous people. He used a 35mm Leica camera that enabled him to photograph quickly and freely. Often he focused on women—in parks, getting into cars, at parties, exiting stores—creating photographs that highlighted the changing role of women and, at times, the uncertainty of their new place. More

  • Design Lab: Three Studios

    Design Lab: Three Studios

    July 27, 2012–September 2, 2012

    Experience unique offerings from Colorado’s ever-growing design community this summer in Design Lab: Three Studios featuring DoubleButter, MATTER, and tres birds workshop. Utilizing inventive approaches to architecture and design, the installations in this exhibition challenge the rules of traditional design practices and illuminate the process of constructing an object, a space, or the components of information. More

  • Open For Design: A DAM Community Challenge

    Open For Design: A DAM Community Challenge

    August 4, 2012–September 2, 2012

    The Denver Art Museum (DAM) invited the community to participate in an inspired design challenge by creating a solution to a design issue in their neighborhood and bringing it to the museum for display.

    Following the Open For Design submission drop-off on July 28, the museum has put the designs on view in Open For Design: A DAM Community Challenge in the Anschutz Gallery on level two of the Hamilton Building. More

  • Focus: Earth & Fire

    Focus: Earth & Fire

    June 11, 2011–August 5, 2012

    Focus: Earth and Fire showcases ceramic work in the DAM’s modern and contemporary art collection, as well as paintings that respond to earth and fire. This presentation takes the widest approach to the theme and celebrates the myriad artistic responses to rugged mountains, powerful earthquakes and volcanoes, blazing forest fires and even the hot sunlight pouring down from millions of miles away. More

  • Yves Saint Laurent: The Retrospective

    Yves Saint Laurent: The Retrospective

    March 25, 2012–July 8, 2012

    A sweeping retrospective of the designer’s 40 years of creativity, Yves Saint Laurent: The Retrospective features a stunning selection of 200 haute couture garments along with numerous photographs, drawings, and films that illustrate the development of Saint Laurent's style and the historical foundations of his work. Organized thematically, the presentation melds design and art to explore the full arc of Saint Laurent’s career, from his first days at Dior in 1958 through the splendor of his evening dresses from 2002. The DAM will be the only United States venue for the exhibition. More

  • Read My Pins: The Madeleine Albright Collection

    Read My Pins: The Madeleine Albright Collection

    April 15, 2012–June 17, 2012

    Drawn from the personal collection of former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, this exhibition features more than 200 pins, many of which Secretary Albright wore to communicate a message or a mood during her diplomatic tenure. Read My Pins: The Madeleine Albright Collection examines the collection for its historical ties as well as the expressive power of jewelry and its ability to communicate through a language of its own. More

  • Ed Ruscha: On the Road

    Ed Ruscha: On the Road

    December 24, 2011–April 22, 2012

    Ed Ruscha: On the Road is a vibrant exhibition featuring works inspired by Jack Kerouac’s seminal work On the Road, the novel that came to define the Beat Generation. Both artists utilize language as a form of social commentary, documenting the continuing shifts in the American cultural landscape. By superimposing passages from Kerouac’s epic 1957 novel onto images of snow-capped mountains or abstract backgrounds, Ruscha injects new life into the feverishly written words. More

  • Gary Emrich: Contact

    Gary Emrich: Contact

    September 10, 2011–April 8, 2012

    Gary Emrich’s video installation exploits the chromatic qualities of video in a digital age. Contact features a painterly montage of luscious foliage, vibrant flowers, and a curiously rotating moonscape to create a dreamlike realm that upends our understanding of time and space.


  • Rupprecht Matthies: ¿Being Home?

    Rupprecht Matthies: ¿Being Home?

    November 12, 2011–February 19, 2012

    ¿Being Home? is a community inspired, site-specific, interactive artwork that changes with each presentation. Initially installed as part of the Embrace! exhibition and acquired by the DAM, ¿Being Home? is an immersive environment made up of colorful word sculptures and mobiles carved in Plexiglas, Styrofoam, and foam. More

  • A Visual Alphabet: Herbert Bayer's Anthology Paintings

    A Visual Alphabet: Herbert Bayer's Anthology Paintings

    May 2, 2009–February 5, 2012

    Don't miss Herbert Bayer's anthologies series, in the Hamilton Building's lower level gallery.

    In these late works—painted in the final decade of his career—Bayer moved away from earlier formulas and rational structures, and allowed fantasy, intuition, and imagination to reign. The paintings re-examine his previous themes, including geologic and atmospheric forces, nature and the cosmos, and symbols such as letters and gates. More

  • Changing Landscapes: Themes in 19th Century French and American Painting

    Changing Landscapes: Themes in 19th Century French and American Painting

    August 13, 2011–February 5, 2012

    A selection of landscapes on view in our level six European and American art galleries trace the development of landscape painting among artists of the late nineteenth century Barbizon movement in France and some of their contemporaries in the United States. These paintings are part of a University of Denver student-curated exhibition; the rest of the exhibition is on view in the university’s Victoria H. Myhren Gallery through November 13, 2011. Works by Corot, Dupré, Millet, and others are featured at the two locations. More

  • Xu Beihong

    Xu Beihong

    Pioneer of Modern Chinese Painting
    October 30, 2011–January 29, 2012

    Xu Beihong is a key figure in 20th century Chinese art. Drawn from the Xu Beihong Memorial Museum, the exhibition features 61 works including Chinese ink brush paintings, oil paintings, drawings, pastels, and calligraphy. Visitors can explore Xu Beihong’s career from early works including a 1918 landscape painting, drawings, and paintings created during his studies in Europe, and several of his well-known and loved horse paintings. More

  • Threads of Heaven: Silken Legacy of China’s Last Dynasty

    Threads of Heaven: Silken Legacy of China’s Last Dynasty

    October 30, 2011–January 29, 2012

    Drawn exclusively from the DAM’s collection of Chinese textiles and costumes, Threads of Heaven: Silken Legacy of China's Last Dynasty presents a glimpse into the latter years of the court and culture of the Qing Dynasty and the final days of empire in China. Among the approximately 100 pieces on view are court robes and accessories, many of which denote the wearer’s specific rank. More

  • Dirty Pictures

    Dirty Pictures

    June 11, 2011–January 8, 2012

    Dirty Pictures shows the varied ways photographers have depicted mud in their work. Whether as media for photographic construction, as the substance of metaphor, or as a mark of human interaction with the earth—mud, clay, dirt, and soil have made prominent appearances in the work of many photographers in the past thirty-five years. More