You have until May 2016 to visit the original home of Denver's unique collections of decorative and fine art.
Vance Kirkland's actual art studio at the Kirkland Museum. The straps hanging from the rafters allowed the artist—a mere 5-foot-2-inches tall—to float over his larger canvasses and achieve the "dot" effects he sought. —All photos courtesy of author
The Kirkland displays much of its collection as set pieces laid out as if they were someone's actual living space.
This includes everyday items—telephones, lamps, radios (pictured)—whose memorably innovative designs made them art in their own right. (One of Kirkland's distinctive dot paintings is displayed in the background.)
The museum is filled with stunning examples of design, such as this Art Nouveau set from Maurice Dufrene ...
...and this ceramic collection from Eva Zeisel . Many such works were later co-opted, modified, and mass produced for use as everyday china, flatware, and other household accessories.
This dining room table and chair from Frank Lloyd Wright is one of the Kirkland's highlights.
A rendering of the new building, scheduled to open in 2017 across the street from the Clyfford Still Museum. On the right is Kirkland's original studio, which will be moved in its entirety from 13th Avenue and Pearl Street to the new museum at Bannock Street and 12th Avenue.
In a town brimming with wide varieties of private and public art, the Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art  might be our most unsung treasure. Originally built around 1910, the nondescript Capitol Hill museum is a showcase for Vance Kirkland's own eclectic work , and it houses a vast collection of just about anything—from any 20th century era or school—that can be creatively designed: Furniture, paintings, sculpture, clothing, and household items such as china, electronics, and flatware.
In fact, there's so much to see at the Kirkland that it's frankly a little cramped. But all that will change in 2017, when the museum relocates to its new facility in the Golden Triangle, a change that will double its space while also adding much-needed offices and event space. To prepare for the move, the Kirkland will close in May 2016 for 12 to 16 months before its grand re-opening.
The new building will solve many of the existing museum's space and lighting issues, but it's still worth the trip to see the Kirkland in its original incarnation. Above is a sampling of the Kirkland's extraordinary array of wares, a reminder that even the mundane accouterments of quotidian life can be executed with beauty, style, and inspiration.
Visit: For more information on the Kirkland's hours and the upcoming move, visit the museum's website . 1311 Pearl St.; 303-832-8576