inStill Image

Participants in the inStill Gallery Experience for Schools. Photo by Jensen Sutta

2015: A Year of Free Programs

Posted on November 18, 2014

Dean Sobel, director of the Clyfford Still Museum, announced today that the Clyfford Still Museum will present all of its education and public programs free of charge in 2015. Programs such as keynote lectures from visiting scholars, gallery talks, readings, archival presentations, adult education courses, and film screenings at the Museum will be presented at no cost to all registrants.

Removing program fees is the Museum’s most recent step in a history of outreach to both new and core audiences. The Museum’s free, standards-aligned inStill Gallery Experience for Schools is now in its second semester and operating at capacity. On October 27, the Museum also joined the MY Denver Card program offered to all Denver Public Schools students by the city’s Office of Children’s Affairs. The Museum now offers free general admission to more than 60,000 cardholding students, as well as one accompanying adult, on all weekends and all hours during school holidays and breaks—the most comprehensive benefit provided by any of the program’s nine new partners.

“This initiative is designed to make the most impactful moments at the Museum more accessible and more meaningful,” said Dean Sobel, who announced the change on the Clyfford Still Museum’s third anniversary. “We hope the results surprise and delight everyone in our community, while expanding discussion about the mysterious life and work of Clyfford Still.”

More than one hundred hours of free general admission annually—provided in recognition of taxpayer support for the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD)—will also continue at the Museum. In 2015, from January 30 to October 30, the Clyfford Still Museum offers free admission every Friday evening (5–8 p.m.) and all day on the final Friday of each month (10 a.m.–8 p.m.).

The coming year will serve as a pilot period for the initiative, after which the Museum will evaluate its success and consider free programs longer-term. Social 21+ events and public programs developed with external organizations, such as the Museum’s annual concert organized with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and the film/Still series with the Denver Film Society, will continue to carry a ticket price.


The Clyfford Still Museum has developed a new staff position dedicated to audience development. Sonia Rae, currently the director of artist and community programs for the Vermont Arts Council, will join the Museum’s team in January as Director of Audience and Community Engagement. An arts programs developer and manager, Rae has more than a decade of experience focusing on government and community partnerships addressing civic needs.

In October the Clyfford Still Museum opened its tenth original exhibition, The War Begins: Clyfford Still’s Paths to Abstraction, and displayed its 500th work by the artist since opening three years ago. Its next exhibition, Up/Down?, opens January 23, 2015.


Home to the world’s most intact public collection of a major American artist, the Clyfford Still Museum opened in November of 2011 to promote public and scholarly understanding of the life and work of Clyfford Still (1904–80). Considered one of the most important painters of the twentieth century, Still was among the first generation of Abstract Expressionist artists who developed a new, powerful approach to painting in the years following World War II. In addition to 10,000 square feet of exhibition space devoted solely to the artist’s work, the Museum also houses the Clyfford Still Museum Archives and the Clyfford Still Museum Research Center. The Los Angeles Times calls the Museum “a marvelous model for what a single-artist museum can be;” Smithsonian Magazine describes the Museum as “among the best art museum experiences anywhere.” The Museum was designed by Allied Works Architecture, which received the 2013 Design Award, 2012 Honor Award, and 2012 Craftsmanship Award from the American Institute of Architects for the project.