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November 18, 2011 - Clyfford Still Museum Grand Opening

What: En Route Denver

Where: 1250 Bannock Street, Denver

When: Friday , November 18, 2011

Time: 7 p.m.

Ticket Prices: $125 and up

Executive Director: Dean Sobel

President(s): Christopher W. Hunt, President, Board of Directors

Blacktie Photos by: Carol Burkett

 Lewis Sharp, left, with Joan Prusse, Lanny Martin and Sharon Martin
Lewis Sharp, left, with Joan Prusse, Lanny Martin and Sharon Martin

Clyfford Still was a leading figure in the Abstract Expressionist movement which developed in the period during and immediately after the Second World War.  A reclusive figure who rarely exhibited or sold his work, Clyfford retained control over the majority of his output.  Upon his death in 1980, he willed his collection to any city willing to build a permanent museum dedicated to his work. After years of negotiation with his widow, Patricia Still, Denver was selected to receive the collection of over 2,000 pieces. Included in the collection were many of Clyfford Still's private papers.

Four pieces of Still's work were sold recently to endow the new museum and fetched over $114 million dollars, well over estimate, showing that there is a strong interest in this enigmatic artist. The Museum opened its doors to the general public with the "En Route" event on Friday.

Guests toured the various galleries, viewing paintings and drawings with their gallery passports in hand. "Flight attendants" stamped these passports, highlighting the locations where Clyfford lived and worked.

The galleries are housed in a neo-modern building designed by Brad Cloepfil and Allied Works.  Concrete poured into unique forms create the structure and texture of the building, highlighted by countless concrete skylights.

After touring the galleries, the guests moved into the party tent where they enjoyed finger foods, drinks, a photo booth and the music of Denver's DeVotchKa, a Slavic influenced folk/rock band.  Members Nick Urata, Tom Hagerman, Jeanie Schroder and Shawn King had the crowd on their feet and rocked the night away, demonstrating prowess in an eclectic collection of instruments.

No one knows exactly what Mr. Still would think of this unprecedented popularity, but the museum and accompanying collection of private memorabelia is breathtaking. For more information about the gallery, including directions to visit this world renowned art collection, check out their website at

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