Behind the Scenes at the DAM

Summer is Outdoor Sculpture Maintenance Time at the DAM

If you visit the Denver Art Museum this summer, you might see our conservators and interns busy with maintenance of the outdoor sculptures on the museum’s campus. Many of the sculptures need annual maintenanceincluding washing, waxing, and repaintingto withstand Colorado’s climate extremes and keep looking their best. Feel free to stop by and talk with us about what we’re up to. 

The DAM has 12 outdoor sculpture installations on view at this time. Make sure to find them on the grounds around the DAM and Clyfford Still Museum, as well as on the Hamilton Building’s level three sculpture deck.

To learn more about our outdoor sculptures and how we conserve them, check out earlier blog posts on Big Sweep by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen and For Jennifer by Joel Shapiro. 

The outdoor sculptures, their locations, and the planned conservation activities are:

  1. Willy, Lucky, and Argus by Deborah Butterfield outside the lower level entrance to the North Building: washing and waxing
  2. Wheel by Edgar Heap of Birds on the lawn in front of the North Building: washing and repairs
  3. Lao Tzu by Mark di Suvero on the plaza in front of Palettes restaurant: washing and painting
  4. AS TO BE IN PLAIN SIGHT by Lawrence Weiner on the wall of the North Building along 13th Avenue: washing
  5. Shoot Out by Red Grooms on the roof over Palettes restaurant: washing
  6. For Jennifer by Joel Shapiro on the lawn in front of the Clyfford Still Museum: washing
  7. Big Sweep by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen next to the Hamilton Building on 13th Avenue: washing
  8. Denver Monoliths by Beverly Pepper in front of the Hamilton Building entrance: washing
  9. Pilgrimage by Zhang Huan on the plaza in front of the Hamilton Building: washing
  10. Scottish Angus Cow and Calf by Dan Ostermiller at the end of the Hamilton building along 12th Avenue: washing and waxing
  11. Untitled by Donald Judd on the Hamilton Building level three sculpture deck: washing
  12. Leg and Armchair by Carolyn Braaksma on the Hamilton Building level three sculpture deck: washing

Image: Conservation assistant Michal Mikesell applying wax to Scottish Angus Cow and Calf by Dan Ostermiller. (Dan Ostermiller, Scottish Angus Cow and Calf, 2001.  Denver Art Museum: Gift of Leo Hindery, Jr., 2005.215.) ©Dan Ostermiller

Kate Moomaw is assistant conservator for modern and contemporary art in the conservation department at the Denver Art Museum.  Kate has been at the DAM since 2011 and her favorite artwork that has been on view here is Geneviève and the May Wolf by Kiki Smith.