Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art
Visit Kirkland Museum Collections Exhibitions Events Membership Volunteer Gift Shop Contact Kirkland Museum Blog Press Home
Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art  
Vance Kirkland

Vance Kirkland was born in Convoy, Ohio in 1904. He received his art schooling at the Cleveland Institute of Art. He is remembered for his position as founding Director of the Art School at the University of Denver. With the success of the European tour, he has posthumously gained international recognition. Kirkland's alchemic techniques and ingenious use of color showcase his avant-garde attitude and style.

  • Throughout his 54-year career, Vance Kirkland's paintings evolved into five major periods.
    • Designed Realism (1927-1944) - mostly watercolor
    • Surrealist (1939-1954) - mostly watercolor
    • Hard Edge Abstraction (1947-1957) - 50% watercolor, 50% oil
    • Abstract Expressionism/Floating Abstractions (1951-1964)
      - oils
    • "The Dot Paintings"/Energy in Space Abstractions (1963-1981)
      - oils
  • Vance Kirkland Chronology
  • Kirkland produced approximately 500 drawings. These were predominately litho crayon, but also pencil, ink, ballpoint pen and charcoal.
  • Beginning in 1997, his work toured 13 European museums in 10 countries. The paintings that traveled on tour returned to Denver in March 2000.
  • There is a long list of Kirkland's art around the world.
  • Frequently asked questions