clyfford still | museum
Large abstract blue painting with a black and orange lifeline
Clyfford Still, PH-247, 1951 (detail). Oil on canvas, 117 x 92 in. Clyfford Still Museum, Denver, CO. © City and County of Denver / ARS, NY

Behind the Scenes: Bye, Bye, Big Blue

We took our largest and most well-known painting, PH-247, 1951, lovingly called “Big Blue,” off view for several years to limit light exposure and keep the blues looking bright! Watch as the CSM team removes the painting from its wooden frame and rolls the artwork to place it in storage, where it will remain for several years. A limited number of members and fans watched the process in our galleries and said their goodbyes to PH-247 on August 11, 2022.

For more than a decade, CSM had the painting on view in different galleries, only deinstalling it once when it traveled to Europe as part of the Abstract Expressionism show at the Royal Academy of Arts in London and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, in 2016–17. Too large to store or transport stretched, CSM staff rolled the painting and placed it in storage. The artwork needed to be taken out of the light to protect it from discoloration.

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