clyfford still | museum
A mom holds her young daughter while the daughter points at a painting
Photo by Trevr Merchant

Clyfford Still, Art, and the Young Mind

FALL 2021 (SUBJECT TO CHANGE)

Exhibition dates are subject to change.

Clyfford Still, Art, and the Young Mind is a community-wide collaborative exhibition that examines the aesthetic preferences of early learners using Still’s artworks as a basis for study.

Installed in five of the Museum’s nine galleries and based on current research and field work,  this exhibition investigates five significant themes in the visual development of infants through early childhood: high contrast, pattern, scale, recognizable imagery, and bright, highly-saturated colors. Gallery text reveals not only how children in the community responded to these five themes, but also how Still achieved an artform that continues to resonate through time by mastering these fundamental visual motifs. The remaining galleries in the Museum are arranged in a chronological narrative and highlight masterworks from the collection selected with families and young children in mind.

Clyfford Still Museum’s curatorial and educational staff worked with young children (ages 6 weeks – 8 years old) and teachers from partner schools and childcare centers around the Denver metro area on every level of the exhibition, including artwork selection and arrangement, object interpretation and gallery text, and programming. Though primarily created by and for early learners, the exhibition includes various levels of engagement so visitors of all ages can explore abstraction, the progression of visual function and preference, and the intrinsic power behind Clyfford Still’s art.

This exhibition marks the next chapter of CSM’s fostering of engagement with its unique collections by facilitating significant experiences of Still’s work with an entirely new audience for the Museum. Breaking down the misconception that abstraction is too complex for young children, Clyfford Still, Art, and the Young Mind presents current, and generates new research illuminating the rich benefits of art museum experiences in young children’s lives.

By engaging with this growing field of research, the CSM continues to fulfill its mission to broaden the definition of a single-artist museum through the generation of cutting-edge exhibitions, scholarly research, and educational and other cross-disciplinary programs.

In addition to area schools, thought partners for this exhibition include the School of Education and Human Development at the University of Colorado, Denver, the Colorado Association for the Education of Young Children, and the Colorado Head Start Association.

COAEYCE logo

CU Denver logo

CO Head Start logo

A young boy sits on the floor of a gallery and colors on a green piece of paper while his mom smiles behind him
Photo by Trevr Merchant