Roath gift enhances Western collection at Denver Art Museum

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Early in its development, the Denver Art Museum made a commitment to building a strong collection of Western American art, and on Aug. 13, it announced a major gift to that collection, now known as the Petrie Institute of Western American Art.

Denver collector Henry Roath, a director of Lincoln Land Company, has pledged to give his fine collection of approximately 50 works of Western, especially Southwestern, art to the Denver Art Museum. Covering the years 1877 to 1972, the collection of oils, watercolors and bronzes, started in 2001, includes a strong representation from the Taos Society of Artists, including Ernest Blumenschein’s “Landscape With Indian Camp” (1920). Thomas Moran’s “Snowy Range” (1896) is also included, as are two editions of Frederic Remington’s bronze “Bronco Buster,” “The Rendezvous” by Martin Hennings and “Aspen Trees at Twining” by Victor Higgins.

The collection has been on loan to the museum, and most of the works are on display presently on the second floor of the Hamilton Building and the seventh floor of the North Building.

In addition to the large collection, Roath donated $500,000 to establish a fund for future acquisitions, an amount that was matched by other donors. DAM director Christoph Heinrich called the gift “transformational,” establishing the museum’s Western art collection as one of the best in the U.S.

In December, the DAM will host its annual black-tie Collectors Choice fundraising event, which will honor Roath as well as supporters Tom Petrie and Jim Wallace. Proceeds from the event will go to the acquisition fund.

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