With more than 70,000 works in its collection, the Denver Art Museum is one of the largest art museums in the American West. The museum started as the Denver Artists Club in 1893 and then evolved into the Denver Art Association in 1917. The association opened galleries two years later. In 1923, when the house on the original location was donated, the Denver Art Association became the Denver Art Museum. Nearly a century later, the museum now includes the North Building, the Duncan Pavilion, and the Hamilton Building, with a globally-reaching collection that spans centuries. Some of it can be enjoyed without going inside. Outdoor sculptures are placed on the grounds, and here are a few to look out for.
Artist Don Ostermiller from Cheyenne, Wyoming has created over 312 sculptures—40 of which are monumental in size. Calf and Cow is the largest. A Colorado rancher commissioned Ostermiller to create this sculpture to commemorate his own beloved Scottish Angus herd of cattle. The animals in the completed sculpture are three times larger than their flesh-and-bone counterparts. Each cow is approximately 13 feet tall, weighing about 10,000 pounds. Ostermiller kept the details of the herd accurate; both cows wear a bright yellow ear tag to identify them with their herd. Calf and Cow is located in Hindery Family Park outside the Hamilton Building.
Beverly Pepper is known as one of the foremost sculpture artists of the 21st century, with work featured all around the world. The Denver Art Museum Board of Trustees commissioned Pepper to create the Denver Monoliths specifically for the museum. Comprised of two massive vertical elements that appear to emerge from the ground, the piece is consistent with Pepper’s study of “Earthbound Elements." The Denver Monoliths are 42 and 31 feet tall and collectively weigh 155,000 pounds. You can find them between the Hamilton Building and the parking garage.
Pictured below, this sculpture commemorates Jennifer Moulton, who was the city of Denver’s Director of Planning and Development from 1992 until 2003. She was an essential supporter of the Denver Art Museum, and it was her vision that enabled the museum to construct the Hamilton Building. Located between the Hamilton Building and Clyfford Still Museum, the 32-foot aluminum sculpture by Minimalist artist Joel Shapiro is a memorial to Moulton’s support and advocacy.
Cover image of For Jennifer courtesy of the Denver Art Museum. Joel Shapiro, For Jennifer, 2007-2011. Painted aluminum; 32 feet. In memory of Jennifer Moulton (1950-2004), Director of Planning and Development, City and County of Denver, 1992-2003. With special thanks to Peter Dominick (1941-2009). Collection of the Denver Art Museum, 2009.798