Museums USA

Clyfford Still Museum opens research centre

Denver institution plans fellowship programme, cross-disciplinary scholarly publications and symposia

Clyfford Still at work in 1973 Photo: Sandra Still Campbell, © Estate of Clyfford Still

The Clyfford Still Museum in Denver has launched a research centre to explore the period of art and history in which the abstract painter worked. Officials are planning a fellowship programme, cross-disciplinary scholarly publications and research symposia.

David Anfam, currently the museum’s senior consulting curator and a leading expert on Still, Rothko and Abstract Expressionism, has been named as the head of the Clyfford Still Museum Research Center. In a museum statement, Anfam said that the initiative “recognises that supporting the scholarly understanding and interpretation of Still’s work and its broader American and cultural studies context is critical to a lively intellectual environment for generating new ideas.” The museum held a one-day conference in New York earlier this month, looking at Clyfford Still’s work from a 21st-century perspective.

The research centre aims to shed more light on the notoriously reclusive painter, who kept most of his work out of the public eye. Between Still's death in 1980 and 2011, when the museum opened, around 2,400 works of art were hidden from public and scholarly view. The artist’s widow, Patricia, gave the collection to the city of Denver in 2004 under the stipulation that it build a museum dedicate to the artist.

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