best to drive by the front of the Museum, (between it and the City Park), to the sign telling you where you can get validated parking. (Ask at the museum front desk for a stamp on your parking ticket so that you donít have to pay for parking).
The Museum holds 7 floors of painting, sculpture and crafts ranging from pre-Columbian to modern with an emphasis on Western Hemisphere art. Each floor of the museum has a theme so that if you are interested in only one classification you need not search all over. Note that the building itself is a work of art designed by Italian Architect Gio Ponti.
The American West art collection on the 7th floor includes paintings by Bierstadt, Russell, O'Keefe and others as well as photographs from Henry Jackson. There are a few examples of Native American artifacts here including some Native American beadwork. The Native American art collection is one of the best in the country with pieces from over 100 tribes in the U.S. and Canada. On the 3rd floor, you will find many American Indian art pieces. That exhibit is continued on the 2nd floor with art from the Northwest Coast Indians.
The Denver Art Museum contains the only Asian art collection in the Rocky Mountain area with arts from Japan, China, Tibet, Nepal, Korea, India and other countries in Asia.
The modern and classical art collections include works by Monet, Matisse, Toulouse-Lautrec, Rodin, Warhol, O'Keefe, Corot, Degas, diSuvero, Picasso, Modigliani, Dine, Grooms, Remington, Russell, Samaras and other local, regional, national and international painters and sculptors. On the 2nd floor are the architecture and graphic arts collections as well as modern furniture.
The 4th floor contains outstanding examples of pre-Columbian and Spanish colonial pieces from South, Central and North America.
On the first floor of the museum are galleries for temporary exhibits, the shop (where the prices are quite reasonable) and an excellent restaurant for your lunch. If you want something different, Smokin' Joe's Emporium is just up the street north of 14th Ave. There you can get a southwestern barbecued beef sandwich for less than $5. Add a beer or a coke and the tab is still less than $7. They also have other barbecue items, chili and at least one special dinner each day. The service is very good. Just a block West on 13th Ave. between Bannock and Cherokee is Pint's Pub that seems transplant from London. They have Sandwiches and English style lunch plates in the $5.95 to $7.95 range. Those include Fish and Chips and a Ploughman's lunch.
Just on the other side of the same block is the Denver History Museum, housed in the historic Byers-Evans house. It is open from 12 to 4 on Tuesday through Saturday.
In the immediate vicinity of the Art Museum are several galleries. If you like black and white photography, the Camera Obscura Gallery at 1309 Bannock Street is
well worth a visit. There you will find excellent prints from some of the best photographers of the last century or more. The first floor always contains a temporary exhibit, usually from one photographer. Around the corner from Camera Obscura is the Native American Art Gallery. They carry art and handicrafts.