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clyfford still | museum
Looking down to Clyfford Still Museum outdoor forecourt from above
Clyfford Still Museum exterior from above
Clyfford Still Museum by Boulder Media House


The Institute unlocks the potential of Still’s extraordinary gift, enabling artists and thought leaders the freedom to innovate and transform our present and future.

Clyfford Still forged a path that was radically different from his peers. At the height of his success, he elected to represent his own interests instead of relying upon the art market. He held on to over 93% of everything he made and entrusted this corpus to an unnamed American city. The Clyfford Still Museum opened its doors in 2011 after his widow, Patricia Still, selected the City and County of Denver to be the home for the estate. Over the course of the first decade, the Museum offered the public a glimpse at Still’s artistic achievement, housed in an architectural marvel. As it embarks on its second decade, the Clyfford Still Museum asks how else we might draw strength from this gift.

So far, one answer is to begin a new Institute residential fellowship program, which will bring thought leaders and artists to Denver to engage with the Museum and its collections. The program is built on three pillars of study: art; education; and social enterprise.

Residential Fellowship Program

A committee chose five fellows—each representing a different area of study—to participate in the program this summer from July 21 to August 11, 2024 in Denver.

The first fellows selected to participate include Sarah Faux and Kevin Appel in studio art, Dr. Michael A. Barla and Dr. Heather Kaplan in early childhood education, and Emily Grace King in social enterprise. Read the press release to learn more.

Areas of Focus

Studio Art
The Fellow will pursue studio practice that would benefit from research on and engagement with CSM’s collection and/or archives.

Art History or Criticism
The Fellow will draw sustenance from CSM’s collections and archives in order to illuminate the historical and philosophical stakes of Still’s art and writings; to bring his work in vibrant conversation with the work of his peers as well as those of subsequent generations; and/or find critical resonance between his work and that of contemporary artists.

Early Childhood Education
The Fellow will engage with projects that would benefit from and contribute to the practices in early childhood education pursued by the Learning and Engagement team at CSM. Proposed projects would advance the development of new possibilities at the intersections of art museums, education, and early learning.

Social Enterprise
The Fellow should thoroughly investigate financial frameworks suitable for nonprofits and social enterprises, such as our own, that support the freedom of innovation. This pursuit was highly valued in Still’s philosophy and is essential to future Clyfford Still Museum’s success.

Inaugural Institute Advisory Board


  • Harry Cooper, Bunny Mellon Curator of Modern Art
  • Bridget Cooks, Professor of African American Studies and Art History, UC Irvine
  • Odili Odita, Artist


  • Cristina Gillanders, Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education, School of Education and Human Development, University of Colorado, Denver
  • Sharon Shaffer, Founding Director, Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center, Routledge series editor, Global Perspectives on Children in Museums


  • Aaron Duke, Product Leader
  • Claude Grunitzky, CEO and Managing Partner, Equity Alliance
  • Dan Wang, Lambert Family Professor of Social Enterprise and Sociology at Columbia Business School and Co-Director of the Tamer Institute for Social Enterprise and Climate Change

Supported By:

The Deborah Buck Foundation