Frederic C. Hamilton Building

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

It's full speed ahead for the Denver Art Museum's Frederic C. Hamilton Building (see review). With the structure to be completed in less than a year, the DAM recently announced the acquisition of three monumental outdoor sculptures that will adorn the grounds.

"Big Sweep" (maquette, right) is a gigantic 35-foot-tall broom and matching dustpan jointly created by Coosje van Bruggen and her mega-famous husband, Claes Oldenberg, who is the originator of the pop aesthetic in which ordinary objects are blown up to monumental size. "Big Sweep" will be installed north of the Hamilton on West 13th Avenue, right under the prow. The piece was commissioned by the DAM in 1999 and completed in 2004; it was paid for by Janus Funds and multiple individual donors.

A yet-to-be-titled abstract by Beverly Pepper will be installed near the northwest corner of the Cultural Complex parking garage, not far from "Clean Sweep." The museum commissioned the piece with support from an anonymous donor. The forty-foot-tall monolith will be made of aggregate and completed on-site.


Frederic C. Hamilton Building

On the south side, along West 12th Avenue, will be "Scottish Angus Cow and Calf." The sculpture is the centerpiece of the Hindery Family Park; both were gifts from businessman Leo Hindery. Done by Colorado artist Dan Ostermiller, the sculpture is neo-traditional in style except for its enormous size: The "Cow" measures 24 feet in length, and the "Calf" is fourteen feet. The piece dates from 2001 and was originally created for Hindery's ranch near Larkspur. The very realistic "Scottish Angus Cow and Calf" just may give "I See What You Mean" -- the big blue bear at the Colorado Convention Center -- a run for its money in terms of popularity with the general public.

The stylistic diversity of the three pieces is striking, as DAM director Lewis Sharp has noted. I have to admit that I was surprised to find that old-fashioned Ostermiller in the mix. Despite the Hamilton's futuristic appearance, Denver's Western past is going to play a big part in the museum's future.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.