Temporarily closed. Expanding our universe at 12th & Bannock in fall 2017. Learn More

Unusual Museum Experience

The Museum is Temporarily Closed to Visitors

Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art is closed while our new building at 12th & Bannock is completed. We expect to re-open in our new location in fall 2017. At the museum’s original location, 3,500 decorative art pieces and 400 paintings and sculptures were on view. The new building at 12th Avenue and Bannock will provide for about 65% more display space. Below you can learn how the museum was displayed at its original location, an unusual display style that will be replicated in the new museum

In addition to its three collections, the way Kirkland Museum is displayed gives it a noticeably different atmosphere than most other museums. The art is arranged in "salon style" with fine art (paintings and sculpture) shown in the same galleries with decorative art. While rare, a few other museums have done this, such as the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston and the Neue Galerie in New York.


Furthermore, at Kirkland Museum paintings and objects are sometimes composed as vignettes where, for instance, Art Deco furniture is grouped together with a period radio, lamp, phone and other accessories, as if you have walked into someone’s vintage home. 

Comparative Displays

Comparative displays are done where several styles of design, such as Arts & Crafts, Art Nouveau and Wiener Werkstätte are placed in the same gallery so that comparisons are facilitated. With the extensive displays of tableware, glassware and flatware of different eras, along with the furniture, Kirkland Museum illustrates the history of eating, drinking and sitting of much of the 20th century.

Use the following links to learn more about:


To get a sense of how Kirkland Museum was displayed at 1311 Pearl Street, click on the images below to see GigaPans—very high resolution photographs of two of our display spaces taken by Koko Bayer. 

Click on the image to be taken to the GigaPan site. Once there, you can zoom in to see each detail of the room.

Exhibition Room 1

Vance Kirkland's Studio Workroom

Interior photographs of Kirkland Museum at 1311 Pearl St.

Kirkland Museum interior with Dining Suite and Yellow Peacock Chair by Frank Lloyd Wright; glass table lamp by Daum; chair by Marcel Breuer; low table and cabinet by Edward Wormley for Dunbar Co.; paintings by Vance Kirkland (1965, 1980, 1962).

Kirkland Museum Modern Vignette featuring Bouloum Lounge Chair (1968) by Olivier Mourgue; small ceramic table by Donna Marecak; rug by Nanna & Jørgen Ditzel; Amoeba Coffee Table by Paul Frankl; Ant Chair by Arne Jacobsen; tiled console table by Gio Ponti; metal sculptures (l-r) by George Rickey, Bob Mangold, Harry Bertoia and Edgar Britton; ceramics by Ted Randall and by George Rumrill for Red Wing; paintings by Vance Kirkland.

Vance Kirkland’s Studio Workroom, preserved as part of Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art. Kirkland painted in this space from 1932 until 1981. For his later works, he sometimes suspended himself above his paintings in straps to accomplish large paintings. Photo credit: Ron Ruscio.

Kirkland Museum Modern Vignette featuring (l-r) Cone Chair (1958) by Verner Panton; nesting tables (c. 1952) by Ico Parisi; Bauer Art Pottery lamp (1945–1946) by Russel Wright; Tulip Chair (c. 1960) by Estelle & Erwine Laverne; side table/stool (1954) by Alvar Aalto; Cluck Cluck decanter set (1950) by Holmegaard; armchair (1965) by Jens Quistgaard; rug by herbert bayer; paintings by Colorado artists Watson Bidwell, Ken Goehring, Dave Yust and Charles Bunnell.

Kirkland Museum Art Deco Vignette featuring a settee from the Ocean Liner S.S. Normandie by Jules Leleu (1932–1934) and chairs by Pierre Patout and KEM Weber. Painting Nebula Near Mars (1959) by Vance Kirkland.

Kirkland Museum Art Deco Vignette featuring the Dubly games table by Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann (c. 1927); armchair by Pierre Patout (1932–1935, for the first-class dining room on the luxurious ocean liner S.S. Normandie); Penthièvre vase by René Lalique (1928); six panel lacquered wood screen by Jean Dunand (1925 or before) featuring his signature “Dunand Art Deco fish and water.”