The Denver Art Museum has been selected as one of the world’s best museums, in league with Antwerp, Belgium’s Momu and architectural wonders such as Oslo’s Munch Museum and Tokyo’s Murakami Library.
The honor, doled out in a May 3 list from Condé Nast Traveler, was part of the magazine’s Best New Museums in the World: 2022 Hot List. While the Denver Art Museum has been around in some form since 1893, Condé Nast looked at the museum’s nearly five-year, $175 million renovation-addition project that was recently completed and decided it was enough to justify the “new museum” moniker.
The magazine noted that the museum reopened in late 2021 with new, interconnected galleries, pavilions and a restaurant.
“Smithsonian in its scope, the campus’ eight-story Martin Building — designed by Italian modernist Gio Ponti, and the world’s first high-rise museum when it was built in 1971 — offers an ambitious look at the art of the Americas,” according to the 2022 Hot List. “Entire floors are devoted to Latin American, Ancient American, and Contemporary and Modern art (not to mention robust African, European, Asian and textile collections), each worthy of an afternoon.”
In praising the “groundbreaking new space,” writer Adam Graham also noted the views and connection to the mountains, which frame the museum and city of Denver themselves in a fetchingly aesthetic way.
“Dedicated contemplative spaces invite visitors to reflect on the collection’s highly emotional pieces, while Ponti’s peekaboo diamond windows and a sunny rooftop offer glimpses of the Rockies, the very landscape which inspired and forged many of the artworks that fill this groundbreaking new space,” he wrote.
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The museum guide is part of the 26th edition of Condé Nast Traveler’s Hot List. “At heart, this is still a hotel list — a whopping 96 made the cut this year, which is a true testament to the industry’s resilience. But because (almost) no hotel is an island, we’ve widened the lens to include the restaurants, culture, transportation and cruises you need to know, and the destinations that are reinventing themselves,” editors wrote in the introduction.
Denver Art Museum is an important tourism and pedestrian-traffic driver in the Civic Center Cultural Complex, which includes History Colorado Center and the main branch of Denver Public Library in the Golden Triangle neighborhood, just south of downtown. The nonprofit institution, with a collection of more than 70,000 items, in 2019 saw 625,941 visitors, according to an annual report.
Museum director Christoph Heinrich in October told The Denver Post that that number has ballooned to about 800,000 annual visitors over the last two years.
Read the full list at cntraveler.com/story/best-new-museums-in-the-world.
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