Museum  September 13, 2018

Denver Art Museum Explores History Through our Depictions of Animals

Denver Art Museum, © Wenling Chen

Wenling Chen, Riding to Happiness (with 56 little pigs), 2006. Fiberglass. Gift from Vicki and Kent Logan to the Collection of the Denver Art Museum, 2010.

Denver Art Museum

Edward Hicks, The Peaceable Kingdom, about 1847. Oil paint on canvas. Denver Art Museum: Gift of Charles Bayly, Jr

DENVER— The Denver Art Museum (DAM) presents Stampede: Animals in Art, an expansive, large-scale 20,000 square-foot exhibition spanning floors three and four of the museum’s Frederic C. Hamilton Building. Featuring approximately 320 objects drawn from every collection across nine curatorial departments, the exhibition will explore the presence of animals in art across centuries and cultures. Stampede will open in two stages, with level three opening Sept. 10, 2017, and fully opening by Dec. 3, 2017 on level four.

Stampede will reveal commonalities in the DAM’s encyclopedic permanent collection and provide visitors a totally new experience,” said Christoph Heinrich, Frederick and Jan Mayer Director at the DAM. “Our museum is a leader in developing comprehensive, cross-departmental exhibitions and we are thrilled to explore this approach through a new lens and on a grand scale.”

Spearheaded by John Lukavic, curator of Native Arts, and Florence Müller, Avenir Foundation Curator of Textile Art and Fashion at the DAM, Stampede will create an opportunity for visitors to discover and consider the role animals play through cross-cultural themes, such as personal connections and relationships with animals, how animal materials have been used in art, how animals are used to tell stories or represent political ideas and how artists use animals in imaginative ways. Stampede will feature visitor favorites including a Nick Cave Soundsuit, a four-faced Hamat'sa Mask, sculptures by Deborah Butterfield and Frederic Remington and a Georgia O’Keeffe painting, as well as rarely seen works.

Denver Art Museum, © Daniel Richter

Daniel Richter, D.P. II, 2007-08. Oil paint on canvas; Denver Art Museum: Gift from Vicki and Kent Logan to the Collection of the Denver Art Museum, 2016.64.


“In exploring our collections for unifying themes across time and place, we found a myriad of animal-related artworks, which led us to reflect on how apparent it is that animals have captivated artists throughout history,” said Lukavic. “We look forward to presenting a theme that we feel can easily speak to the majority of our visitors in an unexpected, thought-provoking way.”

Visitors will be able to try their hand at drawing on art horse bench easels in the gallery and spend time closely looking at smaller objects in the DAM’s collection in a “cabinet of curiosities.” Stampede also will feature an interactive space where visitors can play and learn about the creative process behind the Never Alone video game. Created by Native North Alaskan storytellers in partnership with developers, the game will highlight human to animal relationships and transformations. Other interactive, hands-on artmaking activities related to the exhibition will be available in the new 3-D Studio located on level one of the Hamilton Building.

The exhibition will be on view through spring 2019. Stampede will be included in general admission and free for members and youth 18 and under.

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