Clyfford Still Museum Annual Campaign
Considered one of the most important painters of the 20th century, Clyfford Still (1904–1980) was among the first generation of Abstract Expressionist artists. The Clyfford Still Museum collection represents more than 93 percent of the artist’s lifetime output, including approximately 3,125 works created between 1920 and 1980, as well as his complete archives.
The award-winning two-story, 28,500-square-foot Clyfford Still Museum was designed specifically to display Still’s art and is home to nearly everything Clyfford Still created. Located in the heart of Denver’s vibrant Golden Triangle Creative District, the Museum offers nine beautiful galleries of Still’s art, historic photos, objects, and letters from the Clyfford Still Archives, interactive features, tranquil outdoor terraces, views into storage and conservation areas, a hands-on art creation studio, shopping, exciting programs and events, and more.
The extraordinary collection of art and archives housed in the Clyfford Still Museum was given to the City and County of Denver by the artist's widow in 2008 in keeping with his will. Colorado Gives Day is the perfect opportunity for you to be a part of ensuring that more people of all ages have the opportunity to explore Denver's very own Clyfford Still Museum.
The Museum offers free days every month and is always free for ages 17 and under. Programs for adults, students, and young children and their caregivers are offered throughout each month and are free with admission. To learn more about upcoming programs, visit Clyfford Still Museum - Events.
As the steward of Clyfford Still's art and legacy, the Clyfford Still Museum's mission is to:
- Preserve, exhibit, study, and foster engagement with its unique collections;
- Generate outstanding exhibitions, scholarly research, educational and other cross-disciplinary programs that broaden the definition of a "single-artist" museum; and
- Be a gathering place for the exploration of innovation and individual artistic endeavor.
Clyfford Still sought to preserve the integrity of his vision: Over ninety percent of his entire output remained in his possession at the time of his death. His will stipulated that his estate be entrusted to an American city willing to establish a permanent museum dedicated exclusively to the care and display of his art. In 2004, Still’s wife, Patricia, chose Denver to receive the collection.
Two years later, CSM’s founding board of directors chose Brad Cloepfil, lead architect at Allied Works, to make Clyfford Still’s dream a reality. The Museum broke ground in December 2009 with the building completed in fall 2011. Staff immediately began to prep and install works for CSM’s Inaugural Exhibition while planning for the Museum’s grand opening on November 18, 2011. Over the next year, the Museum received over 830 paintings, 2,300 works on paper, and thousands of archival objects compiled by the Stills.
CSM dedicated its early years to assessing the vast collection, and discovering engaging ways to introduce the art and life of Clyfford Still. Collections staff completed its initial inventory of the artist’s works on paper in December 2012, and processing of the archives began the following year. At the same time, CSM launched inStill, a cutting-edge school program.
For its fifth anniversary, CSM installed the first-ever retrospective of Still’s works on paper. Julian Schnabel, Roni Horn, and Mark Bradford—three groundbreaking American contemporary artists—curated three other exhibitions in its galleries as part of the Museum’s Artist Select series.
CSM hosted three research symposia with nationally acclaimed institutions in its first six years, including the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles and Stony Brook University in Manhattan. In 2015, CSM shared nine of Still’s most revolutionary paintings with the international art community at the Royal Academy of Arts in London and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.
In 2017, CSM made over 2,300 artworks accessible via its intuitive online collection. The following year, staff unrolled the collection’s last un-inventoried painting, resolving a seven-year project marked by countless breathless moments in the conservation lab, as staff unearthed the artist’s near-complete oeuvre one painting at a time. To celebrate the occasion, CSM announced the launch of its multiyear Clyfford Still catalogue raisonné research and publication project. In 2019, the Museum received official accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums.
In response to the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, the Museum began offering events and inStill lessons online, reaching new audiences nationally and worldwide with its innovative programs.
Looking back on the past ten years, CSM staff members recognize how much their sense of Still’s art and thought has shifted as they’ve unpacked his archives, stretched his paintings, and seen these resources from the multiple perspectives of artists, curators, scholars, conservators, and civic leaders. Much of the first decade has focused on the extraordinary achievements of Clyfford Still, the brilliant abstract expressionist painter who cut his own path through the art world. In this next period, the Museum is embarking upon a new approach to his art and thought. Part of what CSM discovered in the first decade is that Still’s reputation was established precisely because an extended network of critics, gallerists, museums, family members, and civic leaders bathed his works in the light of their attention, then and now. If the first decade focused on the individual artist’s achievements, the second decade will celebrate the extent to which his paintings and this Museum offer an occasion to come together to illuminate new pathways and possibilities.
One of the most thrilling aspects of the Clyfford Still Museum is that the focus on a single artist enhances staff’s ability to experiment with new strategies to activate the collection from multiple perspectives. Already in the first decade, the Museum featured exhibitions curated by world-renowned artists.
Clyfford Still Museum
Tax id (EIN)
Arts, Culture & Humanities
Address1250 Bannock St.
Denver County, CO, US