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A mom stands next to her young toddler while he points up at a big blue painting
Photo by James Dewhirst

Clyfford Still Museum’s Young Mind exhibition closes on August 7, and Museum’s largest and most famous painting will go off view

Denver, CO – July 7, 2022 – The Clyfford Still Museum (CSM) will close its current exhibition Clyfford Still, Art, and the Young Mind co-curated by young children around the Front Range, on August 7. With the exhibition’s closing, the Museum will also take its largest and most well-known painting PH-247, 1951, known by visitors and staff as “Big Blue,” off view for several years.

For more than a decade, CSM has had PH-247 on view in different galleries, only deinstalling it once when it traveled to Europe as part of the Abstract Expressionism exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, in 2016–17. Too large to store or transport while stretched, CSM staff will roll the painting and place it in storage, where it will remain for several years. According to the Museum’s art conservation team, the artwork needs to go off view to limit light exposure that causes decoloration of the image.

CSM will offer a family-friendly scavenger hunt every Saturday and Sunday in July in the Museum galleries focused on PH-247. Families can pick up a free scavenger hunt sheet at the visitor services desk and return it before leaving for a chance to win a prize. The Museum will draw a different prize winner after each weekend.

The Museum will also host a small program for the public to watch the conservation team unstretch and roll the painting in the galleries on August 11. RSVPs are required, and space is limited.

“We will all miss this beautiful blue canvas while it is off view and eagerly await its return to the galleries in a few years,” said Bailey Placzek, CSM associate curator & catalogue raisonné research and project manager. “We encourage everyone to visit the Museum before August 7 to see ‘Big Blue’ before it is rolled up for storage. It will also be your last chance to experience our groundbreaking, joyful exhibition, Clyfford Still, Art, and the Young Mind, and its fun interactive elements designed by and for young children and their families.”

The Museum will be closed to the public for exhibition installation from August 8–18 and will open You Select: A Community-Curated Exhibition on August 19.

About the Clyfford Still Museum
Designed by Allied Works Architecture to display the revolutionary art of one of the 20th century’s greatest artists, the Clyfford Still Museum opened in November 2011 in Denver’s Golden Triangle Creative District. Considered one of the most important and mysterious 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 during and immediately after World War II. The Museum’s collection represents more than 93% of the artist’s lifetime output. As the steward of Still’s art and legacy, the 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. Connect with the Clyfford Still Museum on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, or at clyffordstillmuseum.org.

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