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Western Art Collection

The Library collects works of original art and other illustrative materials of historical and aesthetic interest. This comprehensive art collection includes work by master artists who have made important contributions to the study of the West. Rare and important works by Frederic Remington, Charles Russell, Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Moran and Alfred Jacob Miller figure prominently in the collection. Prints include fine examples of George Catlin's North American Indian Portfolio, as well as engravings and lithographs by Karl Bodmer, James Otto Lewis and Charles Bird King.

The collection includes leading Denver artists of the early 20th century, including work by Henry Read, head of the Denver Art Commission, Allen Tupper True and Frank Mechau, Colorado's leading muralists, and master etcher, George Elbert Burr. The department has original artwork by leading Colorado artists who participated in the Federal Art Project of the 1930s. They include Edgar Britton, Nadine Drummond, Ethel Magafan and Louise and Arnold Ronnebeck. We have continued collecting through the mid-20th century and the collection includes the work of Colorado modernists such as John E. Thompson, William Sanderson, Vance Kirkland and Angelo Di Benedetto. Search the catalog for art using the artist's name and terms for media like "watercolors," "oil paintings," or "lithographs."

The Library's Western art collection also includes paintings and works on paper by significant artists of the Rocky Mountain region, including Charles Partridge Adams, Richard Tallant, Harvey Otis Young and Helen Chain. The collection is especially strong in its abundance of original artwork by these 19th century landscapists who painted in Colorado, inspired by the mountain scenery. This includes work by many of the women, such as Henrietta Bromwell, Elisabeth Spalding, Emma Richardson Cherry, who were active figures in the Denver Artists' Club and were instrumental in the eventual founding of the Denver Art Museum. Through these regional artists, one can trace the beginnings of organized art activity in Colorado.

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"Estes Park, Colorado" by Albert Bierstadt [1877].

"Estes Park, Colorado" by Albert Bierstadt [1877] is an important painting in the Denver Public Library Western Art Collection. It is currently on loan to the Denver Art Museum and may be viewed there from 2009 - 2010.

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Updated: June 25, 2013