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Founded in 1979, the Aspen Art Museum (AAM) is a kunsthalle, or noncollecting museum for contemporary art located in the historic mountain community of Aspen, Colorado. It is one of only four art institutions in Colorado accredited by the American Association of Museums, the only accredited museum on the Western Slope, and a leading voice in the intellectual discourse of international contemporary art.


A center of Aspen’s renowned cultural community with an ever-expanding traveling exhibitions program, the AAM has operated in a 9,000 square-foot converted historic hydroelectric plant located just outside the center of town along the Roaring Fork River for the last 30 years.

Situated in a scenic dell, the current building is charming and its site lovely, but the museum long ago outgrew the facility, both in function and ambition. Among the institution’s ambitious list of goals, the largest is building a new facility. With a current visitorship of over 35,000 people from around the globe per year, the AAM needs a substantially larger building sited nearer the city’s center.

The historic Holy Cross Electric Company hydroelectric plant. Built in 1885, it was the first plant built west of the Mississippi River.