History Colorado's Art and Design collection contains over 70,000 artifacts. Artifacts in the collection include paintings, furniture, sculpture, architectural elements and finishes, fixtures, decorative arts and crafts, product packaging, dioramas, and posters. In general, the collection can be divided into three major areas: fine arts, decorative arts, and applied arts.
The fine arts holdings document Colorado's artistic community with works by prominent Colorado artists, as well as work by individuals pursuing art as students, professionals, or hobbyists. The core of the fine arts collection is art produced in the 1930s and 1940s as part of the New Deal: paintings, printing plates, prints, and dioramas, all made to preserve and visually convey Colorado history.
The decorative arts holdings in the collection are primarily from Colorado homes and show the evolution over time of style and taste in Colorado and the nation. These artifacts also speak of everyday household activities from 1860 to the present.
Applied arts provides materials evidence of industrial production in Colorado, reflects the daily life of Colorado's diverse population, and covers major movements and issues of the 20th century.