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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

See It Now: The Kirkland Museum

You have until May 2016 to visit the original home of Denver's unique collections of decorative and fine art.


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

(Read more about the Kirkland Museum in 5280‘s 2015 Top of the Town)

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