Local benefactor bequeaths largest gift ever to Denver Art Museum

Frederic C. Hamilton in Nature as Muse gallery. (Photo: Denver Art Museum)

Frederic C. Hamilton in Nature as Muse gallery. (Photo: Denver Art Museum)

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  • Claude Monet, Path in the Wheat Fields at Pourville, 1882. Oil on canvas; 23 x 30-3/4 in. Bequest of Frederic C. Hamilton.
  • Paul CĂ©zanne, A Painter at Work, about 1874-75. Oil paint on panel; 9-1/2 x 13-1/2 in. Bequest of Frederic C. Hamilton.
  • Frederic C. Hamilton in Nature as Muse gallery. (Photo: Denver Art Museum)

DENVER — The Denver Art Museum announced its largest gift ever Tuesday morning.

Frederic Hamilton, a Denver-based benefactor and the museum’s chairman emeritus, will donate 22 works by Impressionist masters, including Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet, with a net value of more than $100 million, reported Colorado Public Radio arts reporter Ange-Aimée Woods.

Richard Bretell, an art history professor at the University of Texas, told CPR a collection of this caliber could elevate the museum’s international reputation.

“They are paintings that could hang at the Musee D’Orsay in Paris and they are going to hang in the Denver Arts Museum and how great is that,” he said.

In a release from the Denver Art Museum, chairman Lanny Martin added, “We owe Frederic Hamilton an enormous debt of gratitude for this landmark gift in the museum’s 100-year history of collection-building. Fred’s legacy has lifted the museum to new levels and secured the Denver Art Museum’s place as a participant on the world stage.”

The pieces will be on display at the Denver Art Museum through Feb. 9 in the Nature as Muse: Impressionist Landscapes from the Frederic C. Hamilton Collection and the Denver Art Museum exhibition, one of the three collections included in Passport to Paris. They will become a part of the museum’s permanent collection after Hamilton’s passing.

For more on this story, visit CPR.org.

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