A New Home for Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art
Kirkland Museum's 38,500-square-foot museum at 1201 Bannock, designed by Jim Olson of Seattle-based Olson Kundig, opened to the public on March 10, 2018. We are situated within a block of the Denver Art Museum and Clyfford Still Museum in Denver's Golden Triangle Creative District.
Kirkland Museum exterior. Photo by Wes Magyar.
About the Building
- Our building includes many signatures of Jim Olson’s architecture including the “eyebrow” overhangs, vertical glass “fins”, tall doorframes and a long Promenade Gallery down the center of the interior, where you can see the wall of Kirkland’s studio &art school building from the Welcome Desk.
- There are 18 display areas, with about 4,400 works on view.
- The yellow terra cotta bars on the façade are made by NBK Ceramic based in Emmerich, Germany.
- The glass bars that are interspersed with the terra cotta, as well as the glass “fins”, are being made by Kerry Johnson’s studio (formerly Peter David’s studio) in Seattle, Washington.
- The museum is very energy efficient, with geothermal wells for heating and cooling beneath the parking lot.
- Announcement of future relocation; architect chosen: January 27, 2014
- Groundbreaking: September 10, 2015
- Pearl Street location began temporary closure: May 2, 2016
- Studio moved to Bannock: November 6, 2016
- Commenced moving in: September 23, 2017
- Grand Opening at 1201 Bannock: March 10, 2018
In 2013, ten years after Kirkland Museum opened to the public on Pearl Street, it became clear that in order to best promote international decorative art, Colorado and regional art and Vance Kirkland, a larger building would be necessary. In January 2014, Kirkland Museum announced plans to move the museum to a new building at 12th Avenue and Bannock Streets in Denver’s Golden Triangle. Funding for the construction of the new Kirkland Museum building was provided by Merle Chambers Fund. The foundation’s financial support for a new home for the museum is an investment in the further development of the vibrant Golden Triangle Creative District and Denver’s nationally important art scene.
On March 10, 2018 Kirkland Museum opened its doors to a new building, featuring Vance Kirkland's 1910–1911 studio & art school building, moved to Bannock Street. The new facility in the heart of Denver’s Golden Triangle Creative District features the addition of new and expanded visitor amenities and provide a world-class display space to exhibit the collection in the salon style for which Kirkland Museum is known.
Vance Kirkland Studio Move
On Sunday, November 6, 2016 in partnership with Mammoth Moving & Rigging Inc. and Shaw Construction, Vance Kirkland's three-room studio & art school building made its highly anticipated move through the neighborhood via eight sets of remote-controlled articulating wheels to its new home eight blocks west at 12th & Bannock in Denver's Golden Triangle Creative District.
Kirkland's studio building (built 1910-1911 for Henry Read's Students' School of Art) is the heart of the Kirkland Museum experience. Kirkland (1904-1981) was among the most important Colorado and regional painters of the 20th century and painted in the studio for most of his 55-year career. Merle Chambers provided the inspiration to move the Kirkland studio building to the new site, oriented in the same direction as in its former location at 13th and Pearl. To learn about the studio's history, click here. To honor the studio's significance, Kirkland Museum has worked closely with the historic preservation community to ensure that the move and the condition of the studio building are maintained.
We extend a huge thank you to our partners Mammoth Moving & Rigging, Inc. and Shaw Construction for their meticulous care in moving the studio, as well as the numerous city agencies who assisted in making it possible and the support of our neighbors. We are expanding our universe and are excited to be surrounded by wonderful institutions that make Denver a world-class art destination.
For photo and video of the studio move, see our Facebook page and YouTube Channel.
Denver’s Golden Triangle Creative District is the place to go for art and culture in Denver. Located steps from the gold-domed State Capitol, the neighborhood is home to the Denver Art Museum, Clyfford Still Museum, History Colorado Center, Byers-Evans House Museum, the ART, a hotel, Denver’s Central Public Library and numerous galleries. Kirkland Museum’s new location makes it more convenient for art lovers who can now park once to experience all the world-class artwork Denver offers in the Golden Triangle.
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July 10, 2017, the exterior is nearing completion with sidewalks poured and the fence enclosing the sculpture area installed.
July 10, 2017, our sign went up!
May 24, 2017, pavers have been installed in the parking lot
May 23, 2017, panorama of new museum exterior
May 23, 2017, looking northwest from 12th & Bannock
May 9, 2017, museum entrance on Bannock Street
May 9, 2017, looking west from the sculputre gallery into the temporary exhibition gallery. Note the brick wall of Vance Kirkland's studio at right.
May 9, 2017, the central promenade gallery, with columns installed and painted
May 9, 2017, the ticketing desk has arrived in the admissions area
May 3, 2017, glass bars, some backed with gold leaf, were installed among the yellow terra cotta bars on the exterior
May 3, 2017, the sculpture gallery
May 3, 2017, the admissions area is taking shape
February 28, 2017, a roof now connects Vance Kirkland's studio & art school building to the new museum
February 23, 2017, Kirkland Museum Volunteers stand where the ticketing desk will be
February 8, 2017, drywall installed in the central axis gallery
February 8, 2017, a side view of the terra cotta bars
February 8, 2017, exterior installation of the yellow terra cotta bars is nearing completion!
January 18, 2017, installation of the yellow terra cotta tiles on the exterior progresses on the east side!
December 20, 2016, more progress on the exterior cladding, west side
December 6, 2016, contractors have begun installing the yellow terra cotta tiles on the exterior. Made in Germany, each “baguette” is placed per a detailed plan that notes size, shape and color.
November 14, 2016, Vance Kirkland's studio & art school building now in place on Bannock street. The wheels will be removed and the studio lowered five feet onto its foundation.
November 14, 2016, View from the back of the studio in place at its new home. The wheels will be removed and the studio lowered five feet onto its foundation.
November 14, 2016, view of Vance Kirkland's studio & art school building being moved onto its foundation from Bannock street.
November 3, 2016, foundation awaiting the move of Vance Kirkland's atudio & art school from Pearl Street. Clyfford Still Museum is visible in the background.
November 3, 2016, installation of the underside of the roof overhang
November 3, 2016, looking northwest from 12th & Bannock
November 3, 2016, foyer area. The staff are standing where the front desk will be. The Bannock entrance is visible past them.
November 3, 2016, view north from foyer into axis gallery
November 3, 2016, framed galleries
August 4, 2016, looking northwest from 12th & Bannock. It's become harder to capture the progress with photos as they now install pipes, electrical and mechanical systems. Drywall goes in soon!
August 4, 2016, mock-up of the terra cotta tile bars of varying shades of yellow which will clad the exterior of the museum. The bars are punctuated by glass backed in gold.
August 4, 2016, view looking northeast of the west side of the new building
August 4, 2016, foundation for the Vance Kirkland Studio, to be moved from 1311 Pearl this fall
July 11, 2016, looking northwest from 12th & Bannock
July 11, 2016, central axis gallery of the museum looking south. Electrical wiring is being installed.
June 21, 2016, looking northwest from 12th & Bannock
June 21, 2016, interior of entry foyer and museum store
June 21, 2016, looking north down the central axis gallery of the museum. Gallery walls are now framed.
June 21, 2016, stairs have been installed
June 21, 2016, walls have been framed in the second floor offices
June 21, 2016, walls have been framed in the lower level for mechanical rooms and collections storage. Water and HVAC equipment is being installed.
June 21, 2016, view looking northeast of the west side of the new building. The dirt area will be a parking lot with an entry where the wood beams are at right.
June 21, 2016, foundation for Vance Kirkland's Studio, to be moved this fall
June 2, 2016, the left end of the opening will be the museum's Bannock Street entrance. This south-looking view from the galleries shows the framed walls of the first gallery on the right. The ladder on the right is about where the reception and ticket desk will sit.
June 2, 2016, looking north down the central axis gallery of the museum from what will become the first gallery. On the far side of the framing will sit the reception and ticket desk with the main galleries beyond. The Kirkland Studio will be placed at the far north end of the axis gallery.
June 2, 2016, the second floor where staff offices will be, looking southeast
May 13, 2016, aeriel view looking east
May 10, 2016, looking northwest from 12th & Bannock. Steel for second level roof and offices is in. The visible steel support for the overhang will wrap nearly the entire building on both the first and second floors, providing a unique architectural element.
May 10, 2016, looking southwest at what will be the entry foyer, first gallery and museum store
May 10, 2016, looking south down the length of the museum where workers are spreading pumped concrete
May 10, 2016, workers smooth the wet concrete on the main floor
May 10, 2016, looking southwest at what will be the second floor offices
May 10, 2016, footers have been poured for the foundation of Kirkland's art school & studio building, to be moved from 1311 Pearl fall 2016
May 1, 2016, view from above. 12th Avenue is at bottom left, the future Kirkland Museum at center. The silver square is the floor for second floor staff offices atop the 6 main galleries on the main floor. This square is what Jim Olson calls the "jewel box."
April 27, 2016, looking northwest. The metal beams sticking out to the left will support the exterior overhang as well as the ceiling, now covered in steel as the surface for the roof.
March 29, 2016, aerial view looking southwest
March 29, 2016, aerial view looking northeast
March 9, 2016, looking southwest
January 25, 2016, looking north from 12th Avenue
December 16, 2015, view from the Denver Art Museum's administration building
January 12, 2016, looking north from 12th Avenue
November 2, 2015, view from the Denver Art Museum's administration building
October 12, 2015, view from the Denver Art Museum's administration building