Arts and Culture

The Westword 2014 Arts and Culture Bucket List: #15-6

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#15: Visit the Kirkland Museum.

As far as local museums go, the Kirkland is a hidden jewel among a splash of big statements; fastidiously curated, it's a mid-century fanatic's dream. Its paean to Colorado painter Vance Kirkland's work, milieu and collections of art and objets is the ultimate flashback to a distant but not so faraway time and place. Also, it's a great place to wander on a rainy day.

#14: Spend a haunted night at Croke-Patterson Mansion.

The Croke-Patterson Mansion, a chateau-esque marvel built of red sandstone in 1890, is a designated historic landmark. After 
sitting empty for years, the historic home reopened as the Patterson Inn, a bed-and-breakfast with spacious rooms and glowing reviews from its guests, most of whom seem either unaware or completely at ease with the fact that they are sleeping and brunching in one of Denver's most notoriously haunted residences. Occultists -- who rarely have the opportunity to contact the spirits of the dead in such comfort, are welcome, but anyone who's read some of the spookier stories about the house
 might want to leave their dogs at home.

#13: Locate all the gnomes at the Denver Museum of Nature 
and Science.

The Denver Museum of Nature and Science has a bit of serendipitous lore: Hidden gnomes are scattered throughout the dioramas, peeking around the meticulously arranged brush and branches in the matte paintings. Finding all of them without the assistance of guide is a rite of passage for museum-goers and a chance to play a real­-life game of Where's Waldo? And don't miss the polar bear sunset diorama while you're there; people have been oohing and aahing over it for decades.

Continue reading for the rest of the 15-6 Bucket List countdown.
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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd