Denver Art Museum

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Denver Art Museum

Unique displays of Asian, pre-Columbian, Spanish Colonial, and Native American art are the hallmarks of this model of museum design. Among the museum's regular holdings are John DeAndrea's sexy, soothing, life-size polyvinyl painting Linda (1983); Claude Monet's dreamy flowerscape Le Bassin des Nympheas (1904); and Charles Deas's red-cowboy-on-horseback Long Jakes, The Rocky Mountain Man (1844). The works are thoughtfully lighted, though dazzling mountain views through hallway windows sometimes steal your attention. Imaginative hands-on exhibits, game- and puzzle-filled Family Backpacks, and video corners will appeal to children; the Adventures in Art Center has hands-on art classes and exploration for children and adults. The museum doubled in size in 2007 with the opening of the Frederic C. Hamilton building, a 146,000-square-foot addition designed by architect Daniel Libeskind that has prompted debate: some say the glass and titanium design has ruined the view, while others think the building is a work of art in its own right. To the east of the museum is an outdoor plaza—you'll know it by the huge orange metal sculpture—that leads to the Denver Public Library next door.

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