As out-of-town guests arrive for the holidays, many of us find ourselves looking for ways to entertain them. Fortunately, not only does Denver offer a gateway to mountain recreation, but the city has a multitude of cultural offerings that can keep those visitors busy morning and night.
Among these offerings are a plethora of art museums that offer everything from Impressionist masterworks to “hip” contemporary art, and more.
Here are some of Denver’s finest, recommended by 5280 magazine:
Denver Art Museum (DAM): An art piece itself, the original DAM building was designed by renowned architect Gio Ponti in 1971. In 2006, a stunning addition by Daniel Libeskind and Davis Partnership Architects, grew the museum’s capacity. DAM now holds a great variety of art, from African textiles to European masterpieces. During the holiday season, visitors can enjoy special exhibitions of work by Japanese women, Flemish Masterworks and more. 100 W. 14th Ave Parkway
American Museum of Western Art: See the West as it was in the 1800s and as it is now, through masterpieces “presented salon style,” notes 5280, throughout the historic Navarre Building that holds its collections. The museum’s three floors are also decorated with period furniture. 1727 Tremont Place
Clyfford Still Museum: If you are unfamiliar with Clyfford Still’s work, you are in for a treat. The museum houses the work “of the most talented but relatively unknown abstract expressionist painters of the 20th century,” notes 5280. Visitors see Still’s work evolve over time as they walk through this beautifully designed museum that puts his art in the context of his era and of the art world in general. 1250 Bannock St.
Denver Botanic Gardens: Come for the plant life, but don’t miss the outdoor sculptures and two indoor galleries that display local and regional artists. During the holidays, visitors can also enjoy the Gardens’ stunning Blossoms of Light display. 1007 York St.
Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art: Colorado painter Vance Kirkland not only created unique art, much of it colorful “dot paintings” dating to the 1960s, but he also collected “furniture, accessories and decorative art” to the tune of 30,000 pieces. The collection overflowed Kirkland’s original 1910 studio and moved in 2016, lock, stock and barrel, to this relatively new location, which offers a treasure trove of delights. 1210 Bannock St.
Mizel Museum: This museum is comprised of “a collection of installations, artifacts and stunning artworks rooted in the Jewish experience, but intended to ‘spark’ a broader conversation about tolerance and acceptance,” declares 5280, which particularly praises the museum’s “stirring” portraits of Holocaust survivors drawn by Denver artist Deborah Howard. 400 S. Kearney St.
Museo de las Americas: Founded to “celebrate the diversity of Latino Americano art, culture, and traditions – both modern and ancient,” says 5280, the museum offers changing exhibits of work by artists, as well as presentations regarding modern issues. The museum’s sole permanent exhibit replicates executive director Maruca Salazar’s grandmother’s kitchen. 861 Santa Fe Dr.
Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (MCA): “The MCA is the place in town to discover what’s hip and talked about in the contemporary art world,” reports 5280. Located in LoDo, it has exhibited prominent artists such as Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat and up-and-coming local artists. The magazine reminds visitors to stop at the museum’s shop, which sells items from Colorado-based merchants. 1485 Delgany St.