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American Museum of Western Art, Denver

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Art Gallery · Hidden Gem · Shopping
The artwork on view at the American Museum of Western Art represents a cross section of paintings that survey the art of the American West from the early 19th century through the age of industrialization. During the relatively short period of history illustrated by this collection, the West was transformed from Indian territory unknown to most inhabitants of the eastern United States into a settled region. Within only 90 years after the Louisiana Purchase, the “Old West” of Indian buffalo hunters, mountain men, pioneers, gold-seekers, and open-range cowboys had passed into history.

Prior to its installation in the Navarre building in 1999, selections from The Anschutz Collection were widely exhibited throughout the United States and were also shown in Canada (Calgary), in Europe (Helsinki, Brussels, Munich, London, Paris, and Vienna), in the People’s Republic of China (Beijing and Shanghai), and in the former Soviet Union (Moscow, Novosibirsk, Tbilisi, and Leningrad).

In addition to extensive exhibitions across the United States and abroad, 110 paintings from the Collection were exhibited at the Denver Art Museum in 2000 under the title “Painters and the American West”. While paintings from The Anschutz Collection have on occasion been loaned to other institutions for exhibition, the Collection remained private and unavailable for public viewing until 2010 when the American Museum of Western Art was founded as its permanent home.

The Anschutz Collection surveys the history of the development of American Art as it pertains to the West and provides examples from all of the schools that contributed to that development.
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115 reviews
  • A hidden gem in downtown Denver. Three floors of the entire range of Western art, from early 1800s to Hudson River School to modern. A beautiful collection in a historic building (once an all girls....  more »
  • I can't call this a hidden gem, because it is located across the street from the Brown Palace Hotel, and not too difficult to find. This brick house holds 3 floors of western art and several rooms...  more »
  • Thanks to the Anschutz family for making such a magnificent collection available for public viewing. In addition to their value as fine art, the paintings—mostly oils—have historic importance as depictions of life in the West prior to photographs or when photography was still in its infancy. Just a couple of drawbacks: The building, though charming, is too small for the collection, so that the paintings are crammed literally from floor-to-ceiling. This makes it hard to get a good view of paintings that are too high or too low. Moreover, the lighting relies mostly on traditional spotlights that create shiny bright spots on some of the works, especially those near the ceiling. Nevertheless, a memorable and worthwhile experience!
  • Beautiful place with tons of amazing art, really enjoyed the audio walkthrough. Parking is a little difficult if you don't want to shell out 20 bucks but I lucked into finding 2 hour street parking just down the street. Entrance is cheap, very worth it.

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