The phases will lead to a complete reopening by 2021.

As many people in Denver know, we’re a curious bunch. The new Children’s Museum experience even opened up their new playground to adult visitors this year because of curiosity. Curiosity’s here again, but this time, it’s for the Denver Art Museum (DAM).

In case you haven’t noticed, DAM closed its north building back in November 2017 and it’s been under construction since then. Recently, DAM announced that it's reopening the brand newly named Martin Building and new Welcome Center in phases.

Wait. Did you just say phases? Yes. Phases. Let us explain.

The first phase will include the opening of the Sie Welcome Center, named after Anna and John J. Sie, and the Bartlit Learning and Engagement Center. The Welcome Center will add 50,000 square feet of room for visitors and will feature practically everything that a welcome center needs: ticketing, guest services, and dining options (includes a café). Details about the new café and restaurant will be shared later on in 2020.

The Sturm Grand Pavilion is on the second level of the Welcome Center. It's 10,000 square feet of rental space! During museum hours, the space serves as a Family Central where there will be hands-on activities for children. When it is not in ‘Family Central Mode’, the area will be available to rent for events. And why wouldn’t it be? The entire space is enclosed with 25-foot tall floor-to-glass ceiling panels. This space was made to host gorgeous parties. (We may call Gatsby for a get-together or two, yeah?)

denver art museum, construction

Courtesy of Denver Art Museum (Facebook)

The Bartlit Learning and Engagement Center is vital to the reopening of these spaces because it’s the core of why the DAM closed it off in the first place. The purpose was to expand learning spaces and to engage museum visitors of all ages.

"Since January 2018, the Denver Art Museum has been building and renovating the north side of its campus to improve the visitor experience while celebrating the building's historic architecture,” said Christoph Heinrich, Frederick and Jan Mayer Director of the DAM. “Starting next summer, I am excited to begin welcoming our community back into these new dynamic and creative spaces where they can explore art, world cultures and their own creativity.”

And boy, did the DAM bring on the edu-ma-cation! The new Bartlit Learning and Engagement Center opens its door to 12,000 square feet of classrooms, flexible program space, and galleries, all to bring in more youth and school group visits for hands-on learning. 

The Kemper Courtyard has also been expanded for an outdoor lunch break, performances, and even MORE ART.

kids playing, denver art museum

Courtesy of Denver Art Museum (Facebook)

To retain the iconic structure of the Martin Building, the Bonfils-Stanton Gallery is now divided into stacked galleries. Previously, these spaces were used as art storage. Beginning in 2020, the gallery opens to show off American collections—the first floor will feature Latin American and Ancient American arts from the museum’s collection, while the second floor will feature DAM’s renowned Northwest Coast and Alaska Native art collections that will be refurbished.

And if you thought that wasn’t enough, the lower level of the Martin Building will also feature a purpose-built art conservation laboratory with north-facing windows. What does that mean? A sneak peek at behind-the-scenes work of preserving art. The Martin building will also open in the final phase around the time of the building's 50th anniversary in 2021.

Details including exact dates of reopening will be released in early 2020. For now, we wait in anticipation. There’s so much to look forward to in the next few years for the Denver Art Museum! What are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments.