Art Museums & History Museums in Boulder County, Colorado

Art Museums & History Museums in Boulder County, Colorado and Surrounding Area

Summer 2014

altSee also Art Events and Arts & Events: Galleries


Agricultural Heritage Center
8348 Ute Highway 66, west of Longmont, 303-776-8848; Offering a glimpse into the history of agriculture in Boulder County, this site focuses on the years 1900-1925, when local families prospered as farmers and witnessed the coming of the Modern Age. Open Fri-Sun 10am-5pm in the summer.

      June 22: Barnyard Critter Day, 10am-3pm

      Aug. 9: Let’s Talk Chickens, 1-3pm

      Aug. 10: A Ride Out of History Along the Oregon Trail, 11am-12:30pm

Berthoud Historical Society
The Little Thompson Valley Pioneer Museum at 224 Mountain Ave. is open Wed-Sun 1-5pm; the McCarty-Fickel Home at 645 Seventh St. is open Wed 10am-4pm and weekends 1-4pm.

      June 7: Grand opening of “Growing Up in Berthoud: Coming of Age (1900-1969)” exhibit and Pioneer Courtyard Open House, noon-4pm

      June 21: Open House at McCarty-Fickel Home Museum, noon-3pm

Black American West Museum
3091 California St., Denver, 720-242-7428; Founded in 1971 to collect, preserve and disseminate the contributions of African-American people in the Old West.

Boulder History Museum
Harbeck-Bergheim House, 1206 Euclid Ave., 303-449-3464; The Boulder History Museum will soon be changing its name to the Museum of Boulder and moving to 2205 Broadway. Check the website for updates, as museum’s many programs are sometimes held at the new location. Admission is free on the first Sunday of every month.

      Through Aug. 17: Evolution of Activewear: Fibers, Function & Fashion

      July 21-25: Summer Camp: Week at the Museum Behind the Scenes

Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art
1750 13th St. (next to Dushanbe Teahouse), 303-443-2122; Check the website for updates on upcoming exhibits and other museum events like lectures, demonstrations and classes. BMoCA’s summer exhibition, “Game Changer,” showcases a group of 15 artists who take a reflective, and often critical look, at games like soccer, basketball, ping-pong and video games. The works are meant to exploit established rules and the concepts of winning and losing, in order to illuminate the societal values and cultural norms enforced by games. The exhibit runs July 17-Sept. 14. Museum admission is free every Tuesday through the end of 2014.

Boulder’s Leanin’ Tree Museum & Sculpture Garden of Western Art
6055 Longbow Drive, near Diagonal Highway and Jay Road, 303-729-3440; Leanin’ Tree is a free museum with 250 paintings and 150 bronze sculptures by 100 artists, specializing in American Western and wildlife art of the post-1950 era. Stroll through the sculpture garden to
view 25 life-size and monumental bronzes. Open 8am-5pm weekdays; 10am-5pm weekends.

Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum
710 10th St., Golden, 303-996-2755; This one-of-a-kind museum introduces visitors to the world of mountain and rock climbing.

Broomfield Depot Museum
2201 W. 10th Ave., Broomfield, 303-460-6824; The museum will be closed from June-October for renovations funded by a Colorado State Historical Fund grant.

Broomfield Veterans Memorial Museum
12 Garden Center, Broomfield, 303-460-6801; Nine exhibit rooms showcase permanent and temporary exhibits that honor the men and women who have served in the armed forces. Open Saturdays 11am-4pm and by appointment. “Coffee and Conversation” with guest speakers happens 2nd and 4th Saturdays, 9-11am.

Carnegie Branch Library for Local History
1125 Pine St., 303-441-3110; Boulder’s original library building houses historic Boulder County photographs and manuscripts.

Children’s Museum of Denver
2121 Children’s Museum Drive, Denver, 303-433-7444; Offers interactive playscapes, daily programming, storytimes and special events for children up to age 8. On the first Tuesday of every month, admission is free from 4-8pm.

Clyfford Still Museum
On Bannock Street between 12th and 13th avenues, Denver, 720-354-4880; Dedicated solely to exhibiting the works of Clyfford Still. SCFD Free Days are June 20 and Aug. 7, plus July 2 for Boulder County residents.

Colorado Railroad Museum
17155 W. 44th Ave., Golden, 303-279-4591; CRM’s sprawling, 15-acre grounds offer railroad cars and equipment, a main building in the style of a 1880s depot, a reference library, general store and picnic area. “Life on Colorado Railroads” is a new featured exhibit.

CU Art Museum & Visual Arts Complex
1085 18th St., 303-492-8003; The CU Art Museum’s five state-of-the-art galleries host exhibits, tours and lectures.

      Through June 21: Paper/Product: Portfolios from the Polly and Mark Addison Collection

CU Heritage Center
Third floor of Old Main, CU campus, 303-492-6329; Located in the University of Colorado’s original building, the Heritage Center preserves CU ­history in nine themed rooms, including the Architecture Gallery and the Distinguished Alumni Gallery. A museum collections workroom is opento the public for viewing and research. New temporary exhibits opening this summer are “The Alchemist” (June) and “Print the Legend” (August).

Denver Art Museum
100 W. 14th Ave. Parkway, on 13th Avenue between Broadway and Bannock, Denver, 720-865-5000; DAM makes its fabulous array of art and artists available to everyone with First Free Saturdays, offering free general admission to Colorado residents on the first Saturday of the month. Join the “Untitled” party on the last Friday of the month and enjoy art, music, performances and refreshments from 6-10pm. Call or check online for information on lectures, tours, family activities, films and more.

      Through Aug. 31: The American West in Bronze, 1850-1925

      Opens June 29: Daniel Sprick’s Fictions: Recent Works

      Opens July 6: At the Mirror: Reflections of Japan in Twentieth-Century Prints

      Opens July 13: Beyond Pop Art: A Tom Wesselman Retrospective

Denver Firefighters Museum
1326 Tremont Place, Denver, 303-892-1436; Firefighting equipment and memorabilia, hands-on exhibits, kids’ activities, and fire-safety displays. Closed Sundays. SCFD Free Day is Aug. 2.

Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls, Toys
1880 Gaylord St., Denver (just west of City Park), 303-322-1053; Miniature houses, trains and planes, and antique dolls.A current special exhibit features cathedrals and castles constructed entirely of matchsticks. Open Wednesday-Sunday.

Denver Museum of Nature & Science
2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver, 303-370-6000; DMNS features outstanding permanent exhibits like “Expedition Health,” “Space Odyssey” and “Egyptian Mummies,” plus popular touring exhibits, an IMAX theater (see Film section) and Gates Planetarium.

      June 2, June 30, July 20: SCFD Free Days

Dougherty Museum
8306 Highway 287, Longmont, 303-776-2520; A collection of beautifully restored antique automobiles, including models powered by steam and electricity, and early internal-combustion types. Open June through August, Fri-Sun 11am-5pm. The Yesteryear Farm Show, Aug. 22-24, is a free outdoor show at the museum.

Estes Park Museum
200 Fourth St., Estes Park, 970-586-6256. Founded by volunteers in 1962, the Estes Park Museum collects, interprets and preserves local history and presents four temporary exhibits each year, in addition to its permanent collections.

Forney Museum of Transportation
4303 Brighton Blvd., Denver, 303-297-1113; More than 500 unique exhibits relate to historic modes of transportation like trolleys, railcars, carriages and “Big Boy,” the world’s largest steam locomotive.

Fort Collins Museum of Art
201 S. College Ave., Fort Collins, 970-482-2787; FCMOA, housed in a historic building in Old Town, displays one exhibit at a time in its airy gallery.

Fort Vasquez Museum
13412 U.S. Highway 85, Platteville, 970-785-2832; Fort Vasquez, located 15 minutes east of Longmont, is the site of an 1835 fur-trading fort, with a museum, educational programs, tours and special events.

Four Mile House Museum
At Four Mile History Park, 715 S. Forest St., Denver, 720-865-0800; This 1859 house on a 12-acre historic site serves as a portal into Denver and the West’s pioneer past. Admission is free on first Fridays.

Golden History Museums
923 10th St., Golden, 303-278-7151; GHM operates three sites in Golden: the Astor House Museum, Clear Creek History Park and the Golden History Center.

History Colorado Center
1200 Broadway, Denver, 303-866-3682; The 2,000-square-foot History Colorado Center opened in early 2012. Its hands-on, high-tech exhibits include a 40-by-60-foot tile map of Colorado, and a “time machine” visitors can push across the map to hit hot spots that reveal video stories. Check online for special events, plus links to other historic sites operated by the Colorado Historical Society.

      Through Sept. 1: Food: Our Global Kitchen

James F. Bailey Assay Office Museum
6352 Fourmile Canyon Drive, west of Boulder, 303-776-8848. At the turn of the 20th century, this is where prospectors would take their ore samples to find out whether they had struck it rich. Open only on third Saturdays, mid-April through mid-October: June 21, July 19 & Aug. 16, 10am-2pm.

Lafayette Miners’ Museum
108 E. Simpson St., Lafayette, 303-665-7030; Refurbished 1890s coal miner’s home with displays of mining equipment and period household items.Open Thurs and Sat 2-4pm, or by appointment.

Longmont Museum & Cultural Center
400 Quail Road, Longmont, 303-651-8374; An outdoor courtyard and four exhibit spaces encourage visitors to explore Longmont’s history and culture. A permanent history exhibit spans 14,000 years of Longmont and Front Range history. The Longs Peak Room is an interactive gallery with hands-on history games and other activities.

      Through Sept. 14: Planes, Trains and Automobiles, with hands-on model-building activities

Louisville Historical Museum
1001 Main St., Louisville, 303-665-9048; Owned and operated by the city of Louisville, this museum features three historic buildings with an extensive collection of coal-mining artifacts and old photographs. The smallest building recreates a miner’s home. Pick up a m-ap of the Louisville Downtown Historical Walking Tour. Summer hours are Wed & Sat, 10am-3pm, and Fri 3-8pm.

Loveland Museum/Gallery
500 N. Lincoln Ave., Loveland, 970-962-2410; The 28,000-square-foot museum hosts comprehensive exhibits on the history of Loveland and the surrounding area, including a re-creation of an old-time general store and a huge topographical relief map of the Big Thompson River system. For gallery info, see separatelisting under Galleries.

      June 12, July 24 & Aug. 7: Thoroughly Historic Thursdays, a series of evening lectures and workshops

Lyons Redstone Museum
338 High St., Lyons, 303-823-5271; Gift shop and regional genealogy displays, housed in an 1881 redstone schoolhouse. Open daily in the summer.

Molly Brown House
1340 Pennsylvania St., Denver, 303-832-4092; The historic home of “the unsinkable Molly Brown” offers 45-minute guided tours. Extended hours on final Fridays. SCFD Free Day is Aug. 16.

The Money Museum
At the Denver branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, 1020 16th St., Denver; Showcases a “wealth” of opportunities to explore the nation’s financial system and the functions of the Federal Reserve.

Museum of Boulder
See Boulder History Museum.

Museum of Contemporary Art Denver
1485 Delgany St., Denver, 303-298-7554; MCA Denver hosts rotating exhibitions of regional, national and international artists. Children and teens up to age 18 receive free admission every day.

      Through July 13: Senga Nengudi: The Material Body; Jorge Méndez Blake: Project for a Park Library (Aerial View Large)—a single work that occupies the entire gallery

Nederland Mining Museum
200 Bridge St., Nederland, 303-258-0567; A glimpse into the world of hardrock mining in Boulder County during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Open Fri-Sun 10am-4pm beginning in June.

Niwot Old Firehouse Museum
Second and Franklin avenues, Niwot. Original 1910 fire shed where the chemical firecart (now on display out front) was once stored. Open only a few times per year; check for info.

Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum
1213 Washington Ave., Golden, 303-277-0377; A museum dedicated to the art of quiltmaking and quilt preservation, RMQM continues to expand its permanent collection of quilts. The museum presents 10 exhibits a year, highlighting ­different quilting styles, histories or themes.

        Through July 29: Quilting—Past, Present and Future, by the Front Range Contemporary Art Guild

Sandstone Ranch Visitor Center
3001 E. Ken Pratt Blvd., Longmont, 303-774-4692; Historic homestead property includes hands-on displays inside the circa-1880 house, plus educational exhibits in the ice house, toolshed and barn. There’s also a nature trail with a scenic overlook. Open second and fourth Saturdays, 10am-2pm, plus special summer hours on Tuesdays (June 3-Aug. 26), 9am-noon, and for special events.

      June 17: Community Night, 6-7:30pm, with live music by Prairie Scholars Acoustic Duo

      July 15: Community Night, 6-7:30pm, with a lecture and book signing by “Bats” author Rick Adams

Shelby American Collection 
5020 Chaparral Court, Gunbarrel, 303-516-9565; Features 40 prize sports cars, plus a reconstructed shop. Open Saturdays 10am-4pm. See the website for info on the museum’s fundraising raffle for a $68,000 2014 Shelby Mustang GT500 Convertible, through Aug. 30.

Spirit of Flight Center & Museum
At Erie Municipal Airport, 2650 S. Main St., Erie, 303-460-1156; Nonprofit center displays hundreds of rare aviation items and artifacts that represent the past, present and future of flight. Open just a few days per week; check times on website.

University of Colorado Museum of Natural History
Henderson Building, Broadway at 15th Street, 303-492-6892; Permanent, temporary and traveling exhibits include Southwestern pottery, textiles, fossils, rare plants and beetles. The museum hosts regular programming, workshops and other events. Don’t miss the second-largest bird collection in the Rocky Mountains or the impressive triceratops display. Open seven days a week, and admission is free.

      Saturdays: Family Day, with hands-on art and science projects for all ages

      Through Sept. 25: 2014 Guild of Natural Scientific Illustrators (GNSI) Exhibition
      Through Oct. 14: Illegal Trade, highlighting contraband items seized by the U.S. Fish and Game Department

      Fridays, June 6-Aug. 8: Summer Workshops for Children

Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum
7711 E. Academy Blvd., Denver, 303-360-5360; Housed in a historic 1930s-era Air Force hangar, the collection includes a newly restored MK36 thermonuclear bomb, a space- station module, a diorama of a moon base, a collection of model airplanes, and memorabilia from Lowry Air Force Base.

Wise Homestead Museum
11611 Jasper Road, Erie, 303-828-4568; Artifacts, equipment, photographs and displays related to the history of the Erie area, plus a restored farmhouse dating back to the mid-1870s. Open Saturdays 10am-2pm, and by appointment.

WOW! (World of Wonder) Museum
110 N. Harrison Ave., Lafayette, 303-604-2424; Nonprofit children’s museum offers interactive science and art exhibits, classes, performances, and workshops for children aged 1-11 and their families.

      June 5, June 27 & Aug. 15: Get Growing with Ollin Farms, a hands-on workshop about seeds and plant life.