The Friends Go Out West!

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Patricia Sprague looking closely at a painting in the Denver Art Museum special exhibition "Rhythm and Roots: Dance and American Art"

In September, the Friends of American Art charted new territory on an inaugural group trip to Colorado. They kicked off their week with dinner at Rioja, a Mediterranean hotspot that helped put Denver’s fine dining scene on the map. At the Denver Art Museum the following morning, the Friends viewed over one hundred paintings with curators Dr. Gwen Chanzit and Angelica Daneo while touring two special exhibitions: Women of Abstract Expressionism and Rhythm and Roots: Dance in American Art. They covered even more ground that afternoon with a private visit to the Anschutz Collection at the American Museum of Western Art, which surveys the art of the American West from the early 19th century through the age of industrialization.

The next day, the group toured the Petrie Institute of Western American Art with Director Thomas Smith, lunched at the historic Brown Palace Hotel, and visited the home of Titanic survivor Margaret “The Unsinkable Molly” Brown. That evening, they celebrated their time in Denver and the birthday of traveler Elberta Reid at Panzano–a cozy Italian restaurant on the ground floor of the Monaco Denver, the Friends’ hotel of choice.

The next morning, the Friends traveled through the scenic Rockies on their way to Steamboat Springs, just in time to see the shimmering, golden foliage of the aspen trees. Gallery owners Bill and Maggie Rey welcomed them for a pit-stop in Vail, where they toured the Claggett-Rey Gallery, enjoyed lunch, and shopped before the final leg of their journey. That evening, Friends of American Art members Karen and Joel Piassick hosted a Cowboy Cookout at their home in Steamboat Springs, surrounded by Friends, an amazing collection of Western American art, and unforgettable views of the Colorado landscape.