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Denver to host Louvre exhibition

Associated PressVail, CO Colorado

DENVER Despite the resplendence of the soaring titanium walls of Daniel Libeskinds addition to the Denver Art Museum, its time to turn attention to what goes inside.In October, an exhibition, Artisan & Kings, Selected Treasures from the Louvre, with more than 125 paintings, sculptures and decorative arts collected by the Sun King, Louis XIV, and his two successors, as well as works seized after the revolution or later by Napoleon, will do that. It will be the first from the world art summit to ever travel to the western states, the Denver museum said.Our visitors will have the unprecedented opportunity to see works from the worlds greatest collection of European art. The expansion of the museum enables us to host an exhibition of this magnitude, and we are delighted to launch our traveling exhibition program with a show of this caliber, said Lewis Sharpe, museum director.It is really a chance to take advantage of what the Frederic C. Hamilton building has to offer. We are using two out of our three exhibition spaces. We are in a great position to be attracting phenomenal exhibitions, said Melora McDermott-Lewis, director of education and master teacher for European and American art at the museum. I think our spaces are going to sing with this much material.The Louvres director Henri Loyrette, says the museum believes it has an obligation to serve the entire art world. It seems especially natural for us to turn to the United States, with whom we have very special, longstanding ties, he said.McDermott-Lewis said Loyrette and other world museum directors are interested in learning how Americans do things, both displaying art and raising money to pay for it.For example, Denver will feature an area where artisans will demonstrate the metal, weaving and porcelain painting techniques used to create the decorative art.Works in the October through January exhibition include pieces by Anthony Van Dyck, Jean-Honore Fragonard, Nicolas Poussin, Rembrant van Rijn, Peter Paul Rubens, Titian, Diego Velazquez and Gianlorenzo Bemini.In fact, Denver has had remarkable success in recent decades in drawing quality exhibitions to the museums original castle-like building, designed by the late architect Gio Ponti. Next door is the Denver Public Library, renovated by Michael Graves, making the one-block area almost a museum of architecture.Libeskinds 146,000-square-foot work is connected to the Ponti building by a skyway. Since it opened in April its once-silver walls have begun turning a gold color as they have aged.Lenders have been impressed with how the museum has handled exhibitions, both in the way they are displayed and the colors used on the walls that hold them.McDermott-Lewis is credited with coming up with the idea of disregarding chronology and region and hanging all portraits together, the still lifes in one place, landscapes in another.A major exhibition of Impressionist paintings from dozens of museums is planned for next February, followed by two more exhibitions from the Louvre. Many of the works in the October exhibition are being displayed now at the High Museum in Atlanta, though some will not come here, and some that did not go to Georgia, will come to Denver.


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