Press Release

New History Colorado exhibit explores western art and history Backstory: Western American Art in Context opens March 18

DENVER (January 24, 2017)— History Colorado has announced a major new exhibition to open at the History Colorado Center this spring. The newly developed exhibition, sponsored by the Sturm Family Foundation, will feature 50 iconic works from the Denver Art Museum’s Petrie Institute of Western American Art displayed alongside historic artifacts from History Colorado’s collection. This collaboration between two of Denver’s cultural institutions will offer visitors a rare museum experience.

“We’re fortunate to have the Denver Art Museum as a partner and the Sturm Family Foundation as a sponsor, because both have embraced our new vision,” said Steve Turner, History Colorado’s Executive Director. “They have joined us to launch a new era of collections-rich exhibitions as part of this new vision for History Colorado.”
Spanning the mid-19th to mid-20th centuries, Backstory interweaves artworks and historical artifacts to immerse viewers in the American West’s stories of cultural diversity, inspirational landscapes, new beginnings, and romantic spirit.
Within the 8,500-square-foot gallery, visitors will take a chronological journey through the American West. The exhibition will feature treasured artifacts from the History Colorado collection such as ancestral Puebloan pottery, Civil War artifacts, and Rockmount clothing. They will be displayed in galleries alongside iconic works of Western American art like Albert Bierstadt's and Thomas Moran's scenic landscapes, Frederic Remington's sculptures, and George Catlin’s striking painting The Cutting Scene.
“By incorporating more of History Colorado’s collection, such as the renowned Wetherill collection, this exhibition emphasizes our commitment to sharing Colorado’s treasures with the people of Colorado,” said Jason Hanson, History Colorado's Director of Interpretation and Research.
“The Petrie Institute of Western American Art has a significant collection of historical and contemporary works reflecting the American west,” said Christoph Heinrich, director of the Denver Art Museum. “We are delighted to be collaborating with History Colorado on Backstory, and offering western American art lovers the opportunity to explore one of DAM’s most beloved collections in a new dialogue with History Colorado’s amazing historical artifacts.”
Backstory is sponsored by the Sturm Family Foundation, with generous support from the The Anschutz Foundation, CoBiz Financial and US Bank. 
Backstory is included in the cost of a general admission ticket: $12 adults, $10 students/seniors 65+, $8 children 6-12; children 5 and under are free. For complete information, visit


Brooke Gladstone
Communications & Media Specialist
303-866-3670 |