Unusual Museum Experience

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Unusual Experience

The way Kirkland Museum displays its three collections 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.

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Interior photographs of the new Kirkland Museum at 1201 Bannock

View of Kirkland Museum’s central Promenade Gallery designed by Jim Olson, with a view at the end of a Vance Kirkland painting on the wall of Kirkland’s studio & art school building. A Postmodern Vignette (left) and Arts & Crafts Vignette (right) are also visible with paintings by Colorado artists. Photo by Wes Magyar.

Kirkland Museum Art Nouveau Vignette featuring Aux Orchidées Bed (c. 1899–1900) designed by Louis Majorelle; Dragonfly Lamp (designed 1899) by Clara Wolcott Driscoll on Majorelle Table (c. 1900); Marquetry Table (left; c. 1900) designed by Émile Gallé. Impressionism paintings by Colorado artists Charles Harmon, Charles Adams and Helen Hoyt. Photo by Wes Magyar.

Kirkland Museum Italian Modern Vignette featuring the Bocca (Lips) Sofa (1970–1972) designed by Studio65; Coffee Table (1950s), Lounge Table (c. 1964) and Superleggera Chair (1957) designed by Gio Ponti; Nesting Tables (1951) designed by Ico & Luisa Parisi and Referential Abstraction paintings by Colorado artists William Sanderson, James Mills, Tracy Felix, Trine Bumiller and Sushe Felix. Photo by Wes Magyar.

Corner Cabinet (c. 1873) designed by Edward William Godwin; Three Panel Screen (c. 1880) designed by Christopher Dresser; Cabinet and Sedia Chair (both c. 1900) designed by Carlo Bugatti. Photo by Wes Magyar.

Kirkland Museum Art Deco Vignette featuring the Dubly Games Table (c. 1927) and Drouant Chairs with original upholstery (1924) designed by Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann; 6-Panel Lacquered Wood Screen by Jean Dunand (1925 or before) featuring his signature “Dunand Deco fish and water;” Daum Lamp (c. 1928). Photo by Wes Magyar.

Kirkland Museum Arts & Crafts Vignette featuring the Peacock and Dragon Wall Hanging (c. 1878) designed by William Morris; furniture designed (L-R) by Eliel Saarinen, Gustave Serrurier-Bovy, Roycroft Shops and William Price; Realism paintings by Colorado artists. Photo by Wes Magyar.

Kirkland Museum De Stijl Vignette featuring rare furniture designed by Gerrit Reitveld and Regionalism paintings by Colorado artists. Photo by Wes Magyar.