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Aspen Art Museum

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Mission

The Aspen Art Museum is a non-collecting institution presenting the newest, most important evolutions in international contemporary art. Our innovative and timely exhibitions, education and public programs, immersive activities, and community happenings actively engage audiences in thought-provoking experiences of art, culture, and society.

Early History

In 1976, a City of Aspen vote led to the acquisition and development of an out-of-use building at 590 North Mill Street that became the Aspen Art Museum’s first home until 2014. Built in 1888, the Hunter Creek Power Plant first served the city’s silver mining operations while also enabling Aspen to be the first city west of the Mississippi to have streetlights powered by hydroelectric energy. Supporting a recommendation that an art space would offer the most creative and adaptive community service, the City assisted efforts to rehabilitate the disused structure. By November 1977, the Aspen Center for the Visual Arts (ACVA) was incorporated within the state of Colorado, and in August 1978, the ACVA board selected its first director, Philip Yenawine.

On June 16, 1979, the ACVA opened to the public with the inaugural exhibition American Portraits of the Sixties and Seventies, featuring works by Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, Chuck Close, Willem de Kooning, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Mapplethorpe, Claes Oldenburg, and Andy Warhol, among others.

The first year three years of programming featured a wide range of exhibitions, including one-person shows by artists such as Robert Rauschenberg. In 1984, the board approved a name change to the Aspen Art Museum (AAM) to better reflect its curatorial scope, established its AAM National Council, and became a nationally accredited institution through the American Association of Museums (now American Alliance of Museums).

Director

Nicola Lees

Board of Trustees

John Phelan, Chair
Paul Pariser, Copresident
Amnon Rodan, Copresident
Mary Scanlan, Secretary
Richard Goodman, Treasurer

Barbara Bluhm-Kaul
Justin Douglas
Marcy Edelstein
Paul Edgerley
Bruce Etkin
Joe Felson
Christy Ferer
David Ganek
Ramiro Garza
Steve Hansen
Adam Lewis
Toby Devan Lewis, Emerita
Karin Luter
Nancy Magoon
Nicola Marcus
Susan Marx
Susan Miller
Kelli Questrom
Nancy Rogers
Michael Rudin
Lewis Sanders
Gayle Stoffel
Jamie Tisch



Director History

Philip Yenawine
1977–1982

Laurel Jones
1982–1986

Annette DiMeo Carlozzi
1986–1989

David Floria (Curator/Acting Director)
1989

Susan Jackson
1989–1990

Susie Hojel
1991–1992

Suzanne Farver
1992–1999

Mary Ann Igna (Interim Director)
1999–2000

Dean Sobel
2000–2005

Heidi Zuckerman
2005–2019


Awards