Collections FAQ

What does Kirkland Museum have in the collection?

Kirkland Museum’s collections contain over 30,000 works by more than 1,500 artists and designers, with about 4,400 works on view. The three principal collections are all shown together in salon style:

  • A celebrated international decorative art collection from the 1870s to the present with examples of every major design period from Arts & Crafts through Postmodern
  • A Colorado & regional art collection from 1845 to the present
  • A retrospective of Colorado’s distinguished painter, Vance Kirkland (1904–1981)

Is the collection still growing?

Kirkland Museum is unable to entertain offers to purchase artwork for sale at this time. Please click below if you are interested in donating artwork.

Did Vance Kirkland own everything at Kirkland Museum?

Nearly all of the artwork and objects at the Museum were collected by Hugh Grant and Merle Chambers, with a small number from Vance Kirkland. Others were gifts or donations.

Does Kirkland Museum own all of Vance Kirkland’s paintings?

Kirkland completed about 1,200 paintings during his 55-year career. Kirkland Museum has about half of his known paintings and many of his prints and drawings. The Museum does have a database of all of his known works, and would love to know if you have one. All five of Kirkland’s painting periods are displayed, from Realism and Surrealism through to his later abstract Dot Paintings.

How does Kirkland Museum learn about the works in the collection?

When a new piece is acquired, it is entered into our database with all of the information provided to us by the donor, seller or auction house. Accompanying provenance, when available, is logged. Curatorial staff physically examine the piece and record relevant information including condition, dimensions, markings or signature, media, etc. Kirkland Museum has an extensive library that helps us further learn about the work. Research is always ongoing. A lot has been written about decorative art, which poses the challenge of vast and conflicting information, but also makes our job easier. Colorado art is much harder to research because there may not be any information online or in books. Deeper methods including archives and interviews are employed when we are working on special exhibitions and publications.

What does provenance mean?

Provence is a common word in collecting that refers to a record of ownership of a work of art. When an artwork is transferred to a new owner, it is helpful to know the history of where it has been to establish its authenticity and to verify that the work was not stolen or looted.

Provenance research is an important aspect of curatorial work, but it is by nature time-consuming and challenging. Due to limited staffing and resources, combined with the large number of objects in the collection, Kirkland Museum’s curatorial team conducts provenance research on a case-by-case basis if there appear to be clear gaps in ownership history. A complete record, with transfers of ownership from the artist to the current repository, is rare and should be treated as the exception.

Despite these challenges, Kirkland Museum’s curatorial team aims to provide as much information as possible for a deeper understanding of our collections.

Please email [email protected] with any provenance-related inquiries.

Can you help me learn about the artist or value of something I own?

Kirkland Museum does not perform identifications, authentications or valuations. The American Society of Appraisers website can help you locate a certified appraiser in your area:

For matters relating to Vance Kirkland artworks, the Museum can put you in touch with the artist’s estate holder.

Donations of Art

Gift offers are thoughtfully made to determine if the object helps the Museum to further promote its mission.

*Please do not bring pieces to the Museum without an appointment.*

For donations of objects:

When considering a gift to Kirkland Museum we request you send the following information to [email protected]:

PLEASE NOTE: The collections email box is not monitored daily. Please allow 5 business days for a response.

  1. An image, or images, of the piece, including signature or mark.
  2. As much of the following information as you can provide: artist or designer name, manufacturer (if applicable), date, what it is made from, size, condition and how you acquired it or where it came from.
  3. Please allow 2–3 weeks for review by our acquisitions team before expecting a response.

Kirkland Museum is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization and your gift may be eligible for a tax deduction. Please familiarize yourself with IRS Form 8283 Noncash Charitable Contributions, which can be found at www.irs.govNote that IRS regulations prevent Kirkland Museum from assigning a value to your donation.