Museum Stories

An Insider’s Look: Denver Art Museum Staff’s Favorite Artworks

Ania Kaczynska 27 October 2022 min Read

Denver Art Museum was founded in 1893 and since then has enriched the cultural life of the state of Colorado. It is one of the largest museums in the area between the West Coast and Chicago. The museum’s vast and global collection consists of 70,000 objects from across centuries and cultures. DailyArt Magazine is partnering with Denver Art Museum this month so we had a unique chance to ask the staff about their favorites from the museum collection. Read on to learn fascinating stories and perspectives that the Denver Art Museum staff shared with us!

The Family of Street Acrobats: The Injured Child by Gustave Doré

Favorite of Anisley “Annie” Herrera | Custodial Lead for Facilities Team

This artwork is my favorite piece at the Denver Art Museum. Even though this painting is full of sadness and so many other emotions, it shows that there is no difference between cultures, races, or economic levels when it comes to a parent’s love for their child.

Located in the Classic European Art gallery in Hamilton, 2nd floor.

The Family of Street Acrobats The Injured Child, by Gustave Dore Denver Art Museum

Gustave Doré, The Family of Street Acrobats: the Injured Child (La Famille du Saltimbanque: L’Enfant Blessé), 1873, Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO, USA.

Lupita by Jay Lynn Gomez

Favorite of Brian Byrd | Security Supervisor for Protective Services

I chose the piece Lupita by Jay Lynn Gomez to represent my favorite piece for a few reasons. Working in the security department at the Denver Art Museum provides a lot of insight and knowledge of the “behind the scenes” operations that occur within the museum on a daily basis, while staying out of sight from the public unless our presence is needed. I feel that another department that is not seen or even acknowledged a lot of the times is the facilities/janitorial staff of the cleaning crew. As Gomez describes the piece, they mention that:

It’s important for me to highlight these people that are not going to be recorded in art history.

The unseen workforce of the cleaning crew does not get enough credit or appreciation for the hours of hard work they put into cleaning the museum every morning, afternoon, and after-hours to make sure the aesthetic and cleanliness of the museum are in order every single day. As Gomez says:

This artwork makes visible the often-invisible labor of marginalized Latino laborers.

Located in American Western Art gallery in Martin, 7th floor.

Lupita by Ramiro Gomez Denver Art Museum

Jay Lynn Gomez, Lupita, 2017, Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO, USA.

Ash No. 125 by Lin Danhua

Favorite of Chris Waldo | Technician, Facilities Team

Visceral! A parable and a proverb in sculpture. Among so many beautiful works, this one still halts me in my tracks every time I walk by it. This piece speaks to the precise discretion required in the lessons that we teach and the history that we keep as to maintain humanity’s fragile survival.

Located in Asian Art gallery in Martin, 5th floor.

Ash No. 125, by Lin Danhua Denver Art Museum

Lin Danhua, Ash No. 125, 2017, Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO, USA.

Tête-à-Tête by Gail Folwell

Favorite of Lindsay Genshaft | Senior Manager of Family and Community Programs

It’s so fun to watch kids and families get interested in it and then tell them they can touch and move the statues. Watching their excitement at this discovery gives us all the good feels!

Located in the walk-over bridge between Hamilton and Martin buildings.

Gail Folwell Denver Art Museum

Gail Folwell, Tête-à-Tête, 2012, Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO, USA.

Hayagriva Mandala by Monk Artists of Seraje Monastic University

Favorite of Rose Beetem | Communications Staff Aide

I love this piece for several reasons: it is stunningly intricate and incredibly beautiful, of course! Also, I was able to watch it take shape under the hands of the monk artists. I got to talk with the conservator as he was under a tight deadline (as the gallery was going under construction a week later) to figure out a way to conserve an art piece that traditionally would be destroyed after completion.

Located in the Asian Art gallery in Martin building, 5th floor.

Hayagriva Mandala Denver Art Museum

Monk-artists of Seraje Monastic University, Hayagriva Mandala, 1996, Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO, USA.

Chamber by Charles Sandison

Favorite of Rose Beetem | Communications Staff Aide

Initially created for the exhibition titled Embrace! this piece mesmerized me from the first time I walked into it. It is meditative and trippy, and I could lie on the beanbags and watch it morph for hours. When it came back on view for Blink! I was thrilled – I really hope it comes back again in the next couple of years!

Currently not on view.

Charles Sandison, Chamber, 2009, Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO, USA.

Did you enjoy these staff picks?

Before you leave make sure to visit Denver Art Museum’s website to find out more about their collections and current exhibitions!


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