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Photo by Emily Minton Redfield

Three Denver Museums Are Getting A Reno

The trio of Denver art institutions undergoing an update includes the Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art, which reopens this month.

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When 30 percent of your state’s adults visit at least one art exhibit a year—the third-highest rate in the country—they expect great things from local museums. A trio of notable Denver institutions is attempting to meet those great expectations with some glitzy upgrades. The highest-profile face-lift is underway at the Denver Art Museum’s North Building, which, in November, began adding 20,000 square feet of new exhibition capacity and a seventh-floor terrace so visitors can glimpse real mountain landscapes as well as oil-paint renditions. The Museum of Contemporary Art Denver is repurposing its current space, creating a dedicated youth area (about 13 percent of MCA Denver’s visitors are teenagers) and a new rooftop stage for its popular B-Side Music Fridays series. Neither DAM nor MCA will wrap up its project for another few years—but the Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art is reopening this month. Works by Colorado painter Vance Kirkland and other regional artists, plus a large collection of “decorative art” (furniture, textiles, and any other type of art designed for use), will be back on display in a new Golden Triangle building starting March 10. The headlining exhibit is the structure itself, which Seattle-based architecture firm Olson Kundig purposefully designed, using golden terra-cotta and glass tiles, to look like a piece that would belong inside a museum.

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