Mayor Announces Project Director for Clyfford Still Museum
Dean Sobel selected to head effort to create home for prized art collection
(DENVER) Mayor John Hickenlooper announced today that Dean Sobel has been selected as project director to lead efforts to develop the Clyfford Still Museum in Denver. The city of Denver secured the collection of American painter Clyfford Still in August 2004. The agreement with the Still estate requires that a freestanding museum be built to house the collection within the next decade.
Sobel has an extensive background in museum leadership. He spent the last five years as director and chief curator of the Aspen Art Museum where he led the museum through the accreditation process with the American Association of Museums and helped make that institution a center for contemporary art in the Rocky Mountain region. Prior to the Aspen Art Museum, Sobel served as chief curator at the Milwaukee Art Museum and assisted in planning for the opening of a major expansion at that museum. He has curated over fifty exhibitions and has written extensively on post-World War II American art.
“Dean Sobel is the perfect fit to help Denver move forward in creating the Clyfford Still Museum,” said Mayor Hickenlooper. “His leadership and experience in the international arts community, along with his passion for and knowledge of modern art are the ideal combination to help launch this project.”
In August 2004, the City of Denver was selected to receive the sought-after private collection of the late American painter Clyfford Still that includes more than 2,000 objects. Most of Still’s work has been hidden from public view due to the strict terms of the artist’s will in which he bequeathed his works to an American city that would create and maintain a museum devoted exclusively to his art. Since Still’s death in 1980, numerous cities have sought the collection by negotiating with his widow, Mrs. Patricia A. Still.
Sobel will work for the Denver Art, Culture and Film Foundation. His involvement is a major step in launching the Clyfford Still project. “I am honored to be leading the effort to make this highly sought-after collection available to the public,” said Sobel. “Our efforts will firmly establish Still’s considerable achievements and place within the history of modern art.”