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Profile of Hugh A. Grant
Director, Kirkland Museum

Hugh Grant is the Founding Director and Curator of Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art in Denver; also Adjunct Curator of the Kirkland Collection at the Denver Art Museum.

Grant established the Kirkland Foundation in 1996 to document, rediscover, collect, preserve, exhibit and publish Colorado artists. The Colorado and regional art collection is concerned with a period from 1820 to about 1990 (traditional through modern), with an emphasis on the 1850s onwards.  Over 650 works by more than 200 artists are shown at any one time, drawing from a collection of more than 500 Colorado artists and about 5,000 works.


Grant built the majority of Kirkland Museum’s international decorative art collectionrecognized as one of the most important displays in North America, concentrated from about 1875 to about 1990 (Arts & Crafts through Postmodern), of which there are more than 3,500 items on view.

Kirkland Museum has the estate collection of Vance Kirkland (1904-1981), the distinguished Colorado painter, whose works have received more than 350 exhibitions at 70 museums and 35 universities encompassing 13 countries, many organized by Hugh.

Grant and Kirkland Museum have loaned many art works to 54 Colorado institutions in 18 towns and cities, 31 national institutions in 20 states, and 17 international institutions in 11 countries.  Grant has authored numerous articles on art for books, magazines, catalogs and brochures. 

Grant won the Heartland Emmy Award for Best Entertainment Program of 2000 for his role as Executive Director of The Artist and The Muse, a ballet that aired on PBS stations, also winning eleven other awards.  Grant wrote the scenario for this ballet, chose the 20th-century classical music, and dovetailed the scenario and music together, which was then performed by Colorado Ballet. Grant has also been Executive Producer of two other art documentaries airing on PBS stations.  Grant has appeared in three HGTV “Hey Remember” decorative art programs.  Grant has won two bronze (2nd) Chris Awards and a Silver CINDY (2nd). Antiques Roadshow, the PBS television series, taped at Kirkland Museum for two days in July 2009.

Other awards Grant has received include the 2015 Citizens of the Arts Award from the Fine Arts Foundation, the 2009 Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Award for Contributions in the Field of Arts and Humanities, the 2000 Historic Denver—Ann Love Award for Historic Preservation, the 2000 AFKEY Award from the Alliance for Contemporary Art (AFCA), at the Denver Art Museum, and the 1999 Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.    

He received an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Denver (2003) and a B.A. degree from Colorado State University in Ft. Collins (1967).  His first two years at college were at Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts.  He is married to Merle C. Chambers.

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