The Denver Art Museum is reopening its expanded, renovated campus next month

The $150 million expansion offers a new welcome center, educational spaces, and more inclusive collections. 

The Denver Art Museum, Nov 13, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

The Denver Art Museum, Nov 13, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)


For more than three years, the north side of the Denver Art Museum campus has been closed for renovation. But soon, just in time for the Martin building’s 50th anniversary, visitors will finally get to see inside the eight-floor Lanny and Sharon Martin Building designed by Gio Ponti, as well as the new Anna and John J. Sie Welcome Center.

The reimagined campus will reopen to the public with a free admission day on October 24. The newly restored Martin Building offers 33,328 square feet of new gallery and public space, educational programming, artist interactions, expanded outdoor spaces, sweeping views of the city and mountains and the new Jana & Fred Bartlit Learning and Engagement Center, which offers more than  17,600 square feet of programming space, workshop rooms, community galleries and interactive gathering spaces, including activations by artists Frankie Toan and Moe Gram.

The 50,000-square-foot Welcome Center, which connects the Martin and Hamilton buildings, will offer ticketing guest services, programming spaces, an art conservation and technical studies laboratory, and two new dining spaces, including the quick-service Café Gio and the Ponti Restaurant, which features a locally sourced menu by James Beard Award-winning Denver chef Jennifer Jasinski

“We are looking forward to being open for creativity, joy and wonder – welcoming our community into new, dynamic spaces this fall, to explore art, world cultures and their own creativity,” museum director Christoph Heinrich said in a press release.

Press materials also say that as part of the Martin Building’s redesign, its galleries  have been updated with a commitment to inclusion. Some of those initiatives include highlighting more contemporary and community artists, as well as including bilingual art labels in both English and Spanish throughout the entire museum campus.  Some of the updated or new collection galleries include the Northwest Coast and Alaska Native galleries, Indigenous Arts of North America galleries, Latin American Art and Art of the Ancient Americas galleries, Asian Art galleries, European Art Before 1800, Textile Art and Fashion and Photography galleries, and Western American Art galleries.

The first floor of the Martin Building, which once was used primarily as art storage, will operate as the  6,500-square-foot Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Gallery. The space will open with  ReVisión: Art in the Americas, an exhibition highlighting about 180 works from the DAM’s Latin American and Art of the Ancient Americas collections.

The renovations cost $150 million to build. Denver Art Museum Board Chairman Lanny Martin and his wife Sharon Martin, for whom the Martin Building is named, contributed the first $25 million. Voter-approved Elevate Denver Bonds covered an additional $35.5 million, and the museum helped cover the rest by matching public investment dollars at a three-to-one ratio.

The renovated campus will reopen to the public October 24 with an opening day celebration from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. While it’s free to attend, guests must reserve tickets, which will be available starting September 17.

If you can’t wait that long, the museum has a few opening events leading up to the 24th. The Unveiled Opening Gala on October 15 is sold out, but tickets for the October 22 Full Circle opening party, which offers live music and cocktails, go on sale September 10. Tickets to Full Circle are $100 for DAM members and $125 non-members. And if you’re a member and you want to check out the campus early, you can attend a Member Preview on October 21, 22 or 23. You can find more information on museum admission online.

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