In its third decade of operation, the Denver Art Museum is home to more than 60,000 pottery pieces.
A small collection of pottery from this period hangs in the basement, and there are several other pieces on display, including a large marble bowl from a collection that dates to the 1800s.
The collection was discovered by Denver Art Historian and Denver Art Dealer Ed Knecht.
“This collection is really unique,” he says.
“It’s a little bit like the Old West in the sense that it’s from this era, but it’s still a pottery era, a very unique period in the art world.”
Knech says the collection also includes pieces from the early 20th century, including many from the late 1800s and early 1900s.
He says the Denver art community is a community of artists, who come together every year to share and celebrate their work.
“When you think of potteries as art, you think about something that’s handmade, and I think we do it the same way,” Knechy says.
“[The pottery] is made from the materials that were used to make them.
They’re made by people who were living at the time.”
The museum has a permanent collection of 18,000 pieces, which was donated by the late art collector, Frank E. Smith, who died in 2018.
Smith’s son, Paul Smith, was instrumental in opening the Denver Museum, and it is still operated by his descendants.
Knechal says that in the past few decades, he and his colleagues have realized they were on the right track when it came to preserving this collection.
He believes the collection is worth preserving, and he hopes that someday people will see the pieces in a new light.
“These pieces are unique,” Kiech says.