After opening to the public in 1971 — Denver Art Museum‘s (DAM) Lanny and Sharon Martin Building is reopening with a newly remodeled and expanded campus. In addition to the Gio Ponti-designed, eight-story building — DAM also anticipates the opening of the new Anna and John J. Sie Welcome Center. Although aesthetics play a large role in the museum’s improvements — culture, history and inclusion are at the core of its design. From Latin American Art exhibits to education and bilingualism — the Martin Building and Sie Welcome Center welcome Denver’s diverse community beginning on October 24, 2021, with free admissions to the general public.
“We are looking forward to welcoming our community into new, dynamic spaces this fall, to explore art, world cultures and their own creativity,” said Christoph Heinrich, Frederick and Jan Mayer Director of the DAM. “For more than three years, the north side of our campus has been undergoing a bold transformation to improve the visitor experience while honoring and preserving the building’s historic architecture. The events of the past year have reaffirmed the importance of art as a source of inspiration, healing and hope, and we look forward to showcasing the museum’s global collections through a new lens and providing new spaces for learning and engagement with the reopening of the full campus.”
The Martin Building’s seventh floor is expected to be one of the most spectacular aspects of the renovation as it boasts panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains. To accompany the visual aesthetics of the museum — there will also be a presence of local culture, voice and community. The Martin Building will include a reimagined Northwest Coast and Alaska Native gallery, a new vision for Latin American Art and Art of the Ancient Americas, a newly installed Asian Art gallery and more. The museum’s entire campus will also include bilingual art labels in English and Spanish.
To further accommodate young visitors — the Martin Building will also feature the new Jana & Fred Bartlit Learning & Engagement Center. As part of this educational space — DAM hopes to bring learners of all ages together for interactive and creative classes. Designed by Mexico City-based design team Esrawe + Cadena — the center will provide space for student and community exhibitions, outdoor terraces, school and group reception, adult and youth classes as well as artist interactions.
“This campus transformation ensures that the Denver Art Museum continues to serve as a beacon of creativity for the widest possible audience for decades to come,” said Lanny Martin, Chair of the Board of Trustees. “We are incredibly grateful for the support of all of the project’s donors, Elevate Denver Bond supporters and the greater cultural community, whose generosity ensures that the museum’s iconic campus will be a Denver destination for audiences of all ages.”
DAM will also showcase a brand new Sie Welcome Center designed by Machado Silvetti and Denver-based Fentress Architects with a focus on honoring the building’s original architect Gio Ponti. The Welcome Center — which connects the Hamilton and Martin buildings. As part of its renovation — the modern mecca provides an improved guest experience and two new dining options.
The first new exhibit at the Martin Building, ReVisión: Art in the Americas, will take over former art storage space at a new first-floor gallery. It will draw primarily from the DAM’s collection to tell a more complete story of the Americas’ rich history by bringing together Latin American and Art of the Ancient Americas collections. This exhibit, along with all Martin Building galleries opening in October, will be included in general museum admission.
The Martin Building and Sie Welcome Center are opening to the public for free on October 24, 2021. For more information on the remodeled space as well as upcoming events at The Denver Art Museum — go here.