Thursday, August 16, 2007

Denver Art Museum. (#1)

Let's go to the Denver Art Museum!

Parts of my novel A Western Capitol Hill take place there. Or it appears in the book from a higher vantage: on Capitol Hill, itself, looking down on the museum's prominent, newer wing.

That's the old building to the right (in the photo above): the 28-sided edifice with the oddly-shaped, horizontal and vertical windows. It looks like it might be, perhaps, something like the Denver Jail, but it isn't.

The newer wing of the museum juts out from the middle of the left-hand side of the same photo. Up close, it looms overhead like an icebreaker, ready to slice someone in two. From a safe distance, it looks like an intergalactic battleship stuck between dimensions.

Although recently constructed, the structure always seems to be in need of repair (photo below).

Here's the onetime entrance to the old building (photo below). You can see the Capitol in the distance.

Here's an example of Pre-Colombian art at the museum (photo below). It depicts a figure holding what's known, in anthropological terms, as a "trophy head."

Traversing the stairwell between floors in the older building, the small windows provide wild vantages of the Capitol (photo below.)

A sculpture by Red Grooms sits outside, above the street level (photo below).

Bob Dylan admired Red Grooms' artwork, which influenced Dylan's songs like "Highway 61 Revisited." From Dylan's autobiography: "What the folk songs were lyrically, Red's songs were visually...Subconsciously I was wondering if it was possible to write songs like that." It can be argued that A Western Capitol Hill takes its inspiration from a similar mindset.

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