Colorado’s vibrant art scene is as varied and diverse as its residents. That is, there are art galleries for every taste and style. Of course there is a large Western community in Denver, proven by the huge turnout for the National Western Stock Show every year. So, if you are a fan of Western art, then of course Denver is a perfect place to take in the beauty. There are many different art galleries that specialize in Western art and these galleries are the perfect place to start your Western art education.
Petrie Institute for Western American Art
Hours:Tues-Thurs, Sat & Sun: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Fri: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Mon: Closed
Price: Adult: $13 or $10 for Colorado residents; Senior and college student: $10 or $8 for Colorado residents; Ages 6 – 18: $5 or $3 for Colorado residents; Children ages 5 and younger: Free
Yes, the Denver Art Museum is known for its amazing architecture and the vast collection of modern and classic art, but did you know it has a huge Western art selection as well? The Denver Art Museum is home to the Petrie Institute for Western American Art, and it has a vibrant and active collection. The crowning jewel of the collection is Charles Deas’s Long Jakes, “The Rocky Mountain Man,” which the Denver Art Museum explains is the single most influential image in Rocky Mountain iconography. You can catch a good selection of the Western art online, but a visit to the museum is a must.
The Mudhead Gallery
Hours: Mon-Fri: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Weekends by appointment only
Western Art often includes Southwestern and Native American art, and The Mudhead Gallery is the perfect place to check out some amazing pieces. The Mudhead Gallery houses a huge collection of original Southwestern paintings, jewelry, rugs and textiles, pottery, beadwork, kachina dolls, bronze sculptures, and so much more. It is more of a gallery/gift shop, but each item carried is of museum quality, and it is worth a visit even just to check out the impressive collection.
Visions West Galleries
Hours: Call for appointment
The Visions West Galleries is actually a collection of three different art galleries, two of which are located in Montana. However, Denver is home to the third location, which specializes in Western art and wildlife motifs. Vision West brings both traditional and contemporary artists in and frequently showcases new emerging artists.
Hours: Tues-Sat: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Also by appointment
The Abend Gallery of Fine Art has a huge collection of many different types of art. They also have an extensive selection of Western and Southwestern art. They bring a mix of different mediums including pastels, bronze, porcelain, and watercolor and they also have expanded services to include framing and consultation. Located in the historic Wyman District, they are an excellent source for Western art fans.
Great Western Art Gallery
Hours: Mon-Fri: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sat: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sun: Appointment only
Located in the Denver Theater District near the Curtis Hotel, this is one of the premier Western galleries in Denver. It features an extensive collection of Western contemporary and abstract art as well as sculpture, pottery, photography, jewelry and glass. The gallery also has framing services and fine art installation. Be sure to check the website frequently, as it often has notifications of public auctions or other interesting events for art lovers.
Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.