The Denver Art Museum has been growing in scope and national recognition at rapid pace, especially in recent years. But there’s one area in which the museum hasn’t changed in more than half a century - its collection of European old masters.
That all changed with the recently unveiled Treasures of British Art: The Berger Collection, an exhibition showcasing about 60 paintings that were gifted to the museum by the Berger Collection Educational Trust in 2018.
“This is the largest collection of old master paintings we’ve received in the 1950s,” said Christoph Heinrich, Frederick and Jan Mayer Director of the DAM. “It’s an important moment for the museum that the trust decided to give these paintings a permanent home here. This will allow us to work with, research and learn more about these paintings and the artists.”
Exhibition curator and scholar Kathleen Stuart has been working with the paintings for about 12 years and described the collection as a journey through 500 years of British history.
The collection goes as far back as the 1400s through the late 1800s and includes a variety of subjects, styles and artists. There is just one female painter in the collection (Royal Academy founder Angelica Kauffman) and several works painted by non-British artists who spent significant time in Britain.
There are a few survivors from Britain’s Catholic age, before Henry VIII broke with the Roman Church. England’s most famous king is also represented with a rare portrait from 1513 that remain in its original wooden frame. There are also portraits of the elite and middle class, the genesis of landscape painting and reflections of the island nation’s ever-expanding empire.
According to information provided the museum, the Treasures of British Art exhibit is the first time since 1999 so many works from the Berger Collection are on view.
“This exhibit provides a view into the British culture these artists created and who owned their work,” Stuart said. “This gift really enhances the DAM enormously. We are now on the map in a big way when it comes to the works of Europe’s great masters.”
This exhibition is included with a general admission ticket, which is free for members and youth, 18-years-old and younger. For more information, visit www.denverartmuseum.org/exhibitions/treasures.
A cultural exchange with Japan’s anime world
Japanese animated films and television, better known as anime, have become a huge cultural force in the United State, thanks to the success of franchises like Dragon Ball and production companies like Studio Ghibli.
Anime has long been a large part of events like the annual Denver Comic Con, but in 2016 a group of fans launched the Colorado Anime Festival to celebrate the genre on its own. This year’s festival will be April 19 through 21 at the Denver Marriott Tech Center, 4900 S. Syracuse St.
In addition to cosplay and connecting with fellow fans and vendors, there will also be a manga library, video and video game rooms, photoshoots and much more. Some well-known voice performers will also be hand.
Fans of the genre or those looking to learn more about this Japanese cultural juggernaut won’t want to miss out. Find out more at www.coanimefest.com.
Clarke’s Concert of the Week - Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Beth Hart at Paramount Theatre
In March I wrote about how encouraging it was to see blues icon Buddy Guy still doing his thing after more than 50 years of music. Now, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Beth Hart, two musicians who have worked to keep the blues alive in their way for years, will be playing the very same stage Guy graced.
The duo will be performing at the Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Place, at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 20.
Shepherd started playing guitar after meeting blue legend Stevie Ray Vaughan when he was just 7 years old. He was signed to a multi-album record deal when he was around 13 years old and has been playing the blues ever since. Hart also got her start young, performing publicly when she was 15.
Secure your tickets at www.altitudetickets.com.
A tribute to Belgain beers
Belgian beers are among the most highly regarded in the world, both for quality and taste. For the third year, Bruz Beers and Spigot Labs have paired up to celebrate this famous beverage at Belgian Brew Fest. This year it’s held from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 28, at the Garden at Bruz, 1675 W 67th Ave. No. 100, in Denver.
The event brings about 12 Belgian-style craft brewers together to celebrate the art of handcrafting the drinks. The festival will also include a variety of food trucks at the venue.
Tickets are available at www.belgianbrewfest.com.
Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at Clarke.Reader@hotmail.com.
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