Clyfford Still Museum

Adjacent to the DAMís new Hamilton Building

The Civic Center area is the cultural hub of Denver, and last week the city announced that the Clyfford Still Museum would join the other attractions there. The Still Museum, which has not yet been designed, will be located south of West 13th Avenue on the east side of Bannock Street, immediately adjacent to the DAM's new Hamilton Building. This makes a lot of sense, because I think the CSM needs to be next to the DAM in order to be a success.

A couple of years ago, Mayor John Hickenlooper brokered a deal with Patricia Still, the widow of modern master Clyfford Still, to acquire the bulk of the artist's estate, including classics such as "Untitled (PH-118)" (above) in exchange for the promise that a museum would be built to house the treasures. (To find out what makes Still such a big deal, check out the lecture by CSM project director Dean Sobel on Monday, March 13, at 6 p.m. at the Walnut Foundry, 3002 Walnut Street.) The land the CSM is getting is currently owned by the DAM and the David Clifton Ministries. All of the funds needed for the acquisitions are being privately donated.

On the topic of private donations is the news, released earlier this week, that Vail kazillionaires, Kent and Vicki Logan, are giving the DAM what's being called the "largest planned donation" in the institution's history. It includes cash, artworks and -- get this -- real estate.

First, there's a $10 million endowment being laid on the modern and contemporary department. Then the DAM is getting all the artwork in the couple's private collection not already promised to other institutions -- that's more than 300 pieces in addition to the more than 200 works the Logans have already donated to the museum. And here's the coup de grace: The Logans are turning over their luxurious Vail home and private art museum to the DAM, along with a $5 million endowment for ongoing maintenance.

Surely a good deal of the credit for all of this goes to DAM director Lewis Sharp and curator Dianne Vanderlip. They've been courting the Logans for years, and it looks like all that shmoozing has really paid off.

 
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