The Vance Kirkland Studio has a new home. On Sunday, November 6, the historic studio once used by Denver Art Museum co-founder Henry Read moved a few blocks north, from its longtime home at 1311 Pearl Street, to the corner of West 12th Avenue and Bannock Street.
The studio will be next to the new Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art building, which broke ground in September 2015 and will open next fall.
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Built in 1910-1911, the Vance Kirkland Studio was originally commissioned by Read. The Arts and Crafts-style building is austere, essentially a rectangular form carried out in dark-red brick that’s topped with a barrel-vaulted roof covered in tiles. The roof has north-facing skylights, since artists of the period highly valued northern light. At its new location, the building has the same directional orientation as it had originally, so those skylights still face north.
Read used the building as his personal studio and the home of his art school. Vance Kirkland, Denver’s most famous modern artist, moved to the Mile High City in 1929 and took over the studio in 1932, working there until until his death in 1981. Grant sees the studio as a key element of the Kirkland Museum experience, which is why he felt he couldn’t leave it behind.