Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art
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Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art  

1904    Born November 3 in Convoy, Ohio.

Attended the Cleveland School of Art, Cleveland, Ohio. On June 1, 1928, he received a diploma in painting and a Bachelor of Education in Art degree.

1926-1928    Attended Western Reserve University, Cleveland, and Cleveland School of Education.

1929    May 29, Certification by the Department of Education, State of Ohio. Founding Director of the School of Art at the University of Denver, Colorado, January 3, 1929, with a grant from the Carnegie Foundation of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The school was originally called the Chappell School of Art because it was located in Chappell House, Denver, at 13th Avenue and Logan Street on the top floor. The first and second floors served as quarters for the Denver Art Museum at that time. B.A. and B.F.A. programs in art, a rare curriculum in univeristies at that time, were developed.

1932    In June, Kirkland left the University because the University decided not to give art courses full academic recognition toward a degree, which was the original agreement. He intended to paint full time, but his students prevailed upon him to also continue to teach. He then established the Kirkland School of Art at 1311 Pearl Street in Denver, where classes were accredited by the University of Colorado 1933-46.

1940    Kirkland began to give salon recitals and chamber music concerts (until 1959) at his studio, particularly to introduce people to modern music such as Barber, Bartok, Hindemith, Ives, Janacek, Mahler, Milhaud, Nielsen, Piston, Prokofiev, and many others. He coordinated his concerts with the Allied Arts, an organization founded in 1920 in Denver, Colorado, that generally gave concerts at Chappell House. Kirkland had a slightly larger space, and he hosted some of the Allied Arts "Moments Musicales" evenings at his studio. He helped endorse the grant for Orville Moore, after whom the vocal competition is now named.

1941    July 26, married Anne Fox Oliphant Olson, a librarian.

1942-1965    Served at the Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colorado; Curator of American and European Art (various times and 1953-58), Honorary Curator of Contemporary Art (1958-65); also member of the Board of Trustees (January 1944-56), Chairman of the Accessions Committee, 1943-53 (appointed member 1942), member of the Exhibition Committee (starting April, 1944), Honorary Curator of Painting and Sculpture (1955-58).

1947-1959    Member, Board of Trustees, Gilpin County Arts Association, Central City, Colorado; Member, Board of Trustees, Allied Arts, Denver, Colorado.

1954    Chairman, Museum Committee, Central City Opera Association, Central City, Colorado.

1957    Received the "University Lecturer" Award, the highest award of the University of Denver.

1958    President of the Board of Allied Arts.

1969    Appointed Professor of Art Emeritus, University of Denver. He later left the University of Denver. There were 400 art majors in the School of Art, which was the largest undergraduate school at the University of Denver.

1970    Vance's wife, Anne, died February 3.

1971    Received the State of Colorado Arts and Humanities Award.

1972    Honored by the Denver Art Museum as receiving the first solo exhibition in the new building, designed by Gio Ponti and James Sudler.

1978    The Denver Center for the Performing Arts purchased a large Kirkland painting, which was the first art work installed in the new Boettcher Concert Hall for the Colorado Symphony. Now the theatre complex building has 2 Kirkland paintings. The Pavillion Building of the Denver Performing Arts Complex has a major Kirkland painting as well.

1979    Donated his only signed, numbered serigraph edition to benefit the Denver Symphony Orchestra.

1981    Died May 24, Denver, Colorado, at the age of 76.

1993    Honored posthumously by Historic Denver as part of The Colorado 100 - "for contributions and lasting impact on the arts in Colorado."