Art Museums & History Museums in Boulder County, Colorado

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

Winter/Spring 2013-2014

altSee also Art Events and Arts & Events: Galleries


Berthoud Historical Society

The Little Thompson Valley Pioneer Museum at 228 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.

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 County Parks & Open Space Museums


Agricultural Heritage Center: Farming at the turn of the 20th century. 8348 Ute Highway 66, west of Longmont, open 1st Saturday, 10am-5pm through March 31, then Fri-Sun beginning April 1. 303-776-8848

James F. Bailey Assay Office Museum: Where miners took ore samples to see if they had struck it rich. 6352 Fourmile Canyon Drive, west of Boulder, open 3rd Saturdays, 10am-2pm beginning mid-April. 303-776-8848

Boulder History Museum

Harbeck-Bergheim House, 1206 Euclid Ave., 303-449-3464; [Note: 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.] “Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow: Living with the Atomic Bomb, 1945-1965” runs through Jan. 12; “Storymakers: A Boulder History” is a semi-permanent exhibit that tells the story of Boulder County from before the European-American settlement until the early 1900s. See listing in Local Events/Forums for information about the museum’s lecture series, “Boulder Conversations with Extraordinary People.”

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.

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 also collaborates with the University of Colorado on a small gallery in the foyer of Macky Auditorium.

Through Jan. 12: Julie Puma: The Immortal Jellyfish

Through Jan. 26: Craft Tech/Coded Media

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; Displays comprehensive information about the history of Broomfield and the surrounding area. Open Saturdays, noon-3pm.

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.

Carnegie Branch Library for Local History

1125 Pine St., 303-441-3110; www.boul 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.

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 Dec. 21: Heart Lines: Expressions of Native North American Art

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 open to the public for viewing and research.

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 Feb. 9: Passport to Paris

Through May 25: Seen in Passing: Photographs by Chuck Forsman

March 2-June 8: Modern Masters: 20th Century Icons from the Albright-Knox Gallery

Denver Firefighters Museum

1326 Tremont Place, Denver, 303-892-1436; Firefighting equipment and memorabilia, hands-on exhibits, kids’ activities, and fire-safety displays.

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.Open Wednesday-Sunday. Guided tours 1st Fri at 11am.

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 and the Gates Planetarium.

Through Jan. 5: MythBusters: The Explosive Exhibition

Opens Feb. 14: Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed

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.

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.

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 Thursdays and Saturdays 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.

Through Jan. 20: Hygiene Cottonwood Show, artwork made from the fallen branches of a local tree; Around the World in 80 Dolls

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 re-creates a miner’s home. Pick up a map of the Louisville Downtown Historical Walking Tour.

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 separate listing under Galleries.

Lyons Redstone Museum

338 High St., Lyons, 303-823-5271; Gift shop and regional genealogy displays, housed in an 1881 redstone schoolhouse. Opens in June.

The Money Museum

At the Denver branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, 1020 16th St., Denver; Showcases all things money through displays of historical currency and interactive exhibits.

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. “Pattern: Follow the Rules” opens Oct. 18. Children and teens up to age 18 receive free admission every day.

Nederland Museums

At the traffic circle in Nederland (Highways 119 and 72), 303-258-0567; Nederland museums reopen June 1.

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 during community events, or on walking tours given by the Niwot Historical Society. Call Anne at 303-665-6932 for information.

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 styles, histories or themes.

Through Jan. 25: Twice As Nice: Two-Color Quilts from the RMQM Collection

Shelby American Collection

5020 Chaparral Court, Gunbarrel, 303-516-9565; www.shelbyamerican Features 40 prized sports cars, plus a reconstructed shop. Open Saturdays 10am-4pm.

Spirit of Flight Center & Museum

At Erie Municipal Airport, 2650 S. Main St., Erie, 303-460-1156; www.spirit Nonprofit center displays hundreds of aviation items and artifacts that represent the past, present and future of flight. Open weekdays 10am-2pm, and weekends and evenings by appointment.

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 Jan. 30: Beetles

Through March 2: To Feel the Earth: Moccasins in the Southwest

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.