Home to one of the world’s most intact public collections of any major artist, the Clyfford Still Museum offers nine beautiful galleries of Still’s art, historic photos, objects and letters from the Clyfford Still Archives, interactive features, a pair of tranquil outdoor terraces, views into storage and conservation areas, a hands-on art creation studio, shopping, exciting programs and events, and more. The Museum opened in 2011 adjacent to the Denver Art Museum in Denver’s Golden Triangle Creative District. The two-story, 28,500-square-foot building was designed by Brad Cloepfil of Allied Works Architecture specifically to display Clyfford Still’s work.
The Museum allows visitors the unique experience to understand the legacy of Clyfford Still, an artist whose life has been shrouded in mystery and the bulk of whose work has been hidden from public view for decades. Considered one of the most important painters of the 20th century, Clyfford Still (1904–1980) was among the first generation of Abstract Expressionist artists who developed a new and powerful approach to painting in the years immediately following World War II. He had a unique artistic vision and was unwilling to compromise it for money or recognition. As he evolved as an artist, Still’s works transitioned from outdoor scenes, people, and machinery to more abstract shapes, colors, and lines to express an idea or feeling. He painted on huge canvases to invite viewers to experience and be absorbed by them. Still did not name his works because he wanted people to make their own interpretations.
After the artist’s death in 1980, the Clyfford Still Estate was sealed off from public and scholarly view. Still thought the best way to experience his art was by seeing it all in one place and his will stipulated that his estate be given in its entirety to an American city willing to establish a permanent museum dedicated solely to his work, ensuring its survival for exhibition and study. In August 2004, the City of Denver, under the leadership of then Mayor John W. Hickenlooper, was selected by Still’s wife, Patricia Still, to receive the substantial Still collection. In 2005, Patricia Still also bequeathed to the city her own estate, which included select paintings by her husband as well as his complete archives. The Clyfford Still Museum collection, which represents 95 percent of the artist’s lifetime output, includes approximately 3,125 works created between 1920 and 1980.
As the steward of Clyfford Still’s art and legacy, the Clyfford Still Museum’s mission is to:
Preserve, exhibit, study, and foster engagement with its unique collections;
Generate outstanding exhibitions, scholarly research, educational and other cross-disciplinary programs that broaden the definition of a “single-artist” museum; and
Be a gathering place for the exploration of innovation and individual artistic endeavor.
Officers and Board of Directors
Christopher W. Hunt, President
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Anschutz Exploration Corporation
Kent Rice, Secretary
Executive Director (retired), Arts & Venues Denver
Jennifer Evans, Treasurer
Portfolio Manager, Anschutz Investment Company
Vice President, Milender White
Sandra L. Still Campbell
Daughter of Clyfford Still
Curt R. Freed, M.D.
Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center; nephew of Patricia Still
Director, Denver Art Museum
Councilman, Denver City Council District 10
Writer | Performer | Cultural Worker
Partner, East West Partners
Morris Susman, M.D.
Orthopedic Surgeon (retired); Former Assistant Clinical Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
Ginger White Brunetti
Executive Director, Arts & Venues Denver