Kirkland Museum moving to Golden Triangle



  • Kirkland Museum getting new home.
  • It is moving to 12th and Bannock.
  • Seattle-based architect designing it.

unnamed-1Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art unveiled plans today to build a new museum in the heart of the museum district in the Golden Triangle, to replace its current home less than a mile away.

The new Kirkland Museum will be on seven lots, slightly more than 26,000 square feet, on the northwest corner of West 12th Avenue and Bannock Street, to about the middle of the block.  The property was purchased for $4.395 million.  Construction is expected to begin in 2015 and to be completed by late 2016 to early 2017.

The new location is near the Denver Art Museum and the Clyfford Still Museum. It will offer visitors an enhanced experience, while staying true to the salon style and intimate atmosphere for which the Kirkland is known, according to museum officials. The current museum is at 1311 Pearl St.

“Relocating Kirkland Museum offers far greater visibility for our three focus areas and makes it more convenient for art lovers to park once to experience all the internationally important artwork Denver offers in the Golden Triangle,” said Hugh Grant, founding director and curator.

Kirkland Museum’s three focuses are:

The Colorado Art Collection is the largest repository of Colorado art showcasing the state’s talent, concentrating on the 1870s through the 1980s. This collection currently has 534 Colorado artists represented by 5,311 works.  About 170 Colorado artists are on view at any one time.
 The International Decorative Art Collection, considered one of the most important design collections displayed in any North American museum, totals about 15,000 objects with about 3,500 on view.  This collection includes Arts & Crafts, Art Nouveau, Bauhaus, Art Deco, Modern and Postmodern.
 The Vance Kirkland Collection – Vance Kirkland (1904-1981) is generally considered Colorado’s most distinguished modern painter.  About 550 paintings and about 600 drawings and prints are held with 55 works currently on view.

The existing Vance Kirkland Studio building will be moved to the future site and oriented in the same direction with the banks of windows facing north for the natural light.

“A more modern building—the new Kirkland Museum—will set off the older Arts & Crafts studio,” Grant said.

A rendering of the new Kirkland Museum.

A rendering of the new Kirkland Museum.

Kirkland Museum at 1311 Pearl St.

Kirkland Museum at 1311 Pearl St.

Seattle-based Olson Kundig Architects, with projects on five continents, has been selected to design the new museum

“In addition to museums and other facilities, Olson Kundig is known for designing many extraordinary residences displaying major art collections,” Grant said. “

Because Kirkland Museum is displayed salon style, with the feeling of being in a home, their design sensibility is a good fit for us.”

Olson Kundig’s museum projects include the Lightcatcher at the Whatcom Museum (Bellingham, Washington), Tacoma Art Museum’s Haub Wing, along with the redesign of Tacoma Art Museum’s plaza and entry sequence.

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John Rebchook

John Rebchook has more than 30 years of experience in writing and communications. As the Real Estate Editor for the Rocky Mountain News, he wrote about residential and commercial real estate for 26 years. He has won numerous awards for business stories and columns that he wrote, both as an individual and part of teams. In addition to real estate, he also covered economic development, banking and financing, the airlines, and cable TV for the Rocky. In addition, he was one of the original freelance writers for, covering commercial real estate for the Internet publication.

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