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Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art to Debut Retrospective of Barbara Locketz

  • DENVER, Colorado
  • /
  • March 07, 2019

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Kyoto, 1965, by Barbara Locketz (1927–2017), oil paint and metal collage on wood, 42 x 51 inches, Collection of the Barbara Locketz Estate
Metal Dimension #1, 1967, by Barbara Locketz (1927–2017), bronze and stainless steel, 35 3/4 x 19 3/4 inches, Collection of Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art; Gift of the Artist

Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art in Denver will present Barbara Locketz—Form•Color•Texture from March 22 through July 14, 2019, with an opening reception on Thursday, March 21. A 42-page catalog will be available for purchase with an essay by Stan Cuba, Associate Consulting Curator, and foreword by Hugh Grant. The exhibition includes 56 works, 7 from Kirkland Museum’s Colorado art collection and 49 on loan from 10 generous lenders including the Barbara Locketz Estate.

Locketz (1927–2017) explored a wide variety of media in her adventurous artworks. Her experimentation with materials, from her early traditional paintings through her use of paper, fabric, wood, metal and finally acrylic in collages, sculptures and jewelry created a unique body of work and successful career as a Colorado artist.

“Barbara Locketz combined versatility with an exploring nature to create works that made a lasting contribution to Colorado’s art history,” says co-curator Christopher Herron.

Born in Maywood, Illinois, Locketz spent her youth in Texas and later Minneapolis, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in child education from the University of Minnesota in 1948. Despite some early artistic endeavors, she later reminisced, “I always wanted to make art but did not quite know how.” Barbara married Harold Locketz in 1947 and they spent their honeymoon in Colorado and fell in love with the state, relocating to Denver three years later. She began studying art in the 1950s in Montgomery, Alabama, and at Colorado Women’s College in 1960–1961 upon the family’s return to Denver.

Locketz was a student of Vance Kirkland (1904–1981) while completing her MA in painting at the University of Denver, and she taught there from 1964 to 1971. Along with creating her own art and teaching, her career included community service. Beginning in 1965 Locketz was involved in the formation of the Friends of Contemporary Art (FOCA). She exhibited her work throughout Colorado and the American Southwest, New York and Mexico.

Kirkland Museum has three principal collections, all shown together in salon style, allowing visitors to time travel through about 150 years of art: international decorative art from about 1870 to the present; a retrospective of Colorado painter Vance Kirkland (1904–1981) and the work of other Colorado and regional artists. Museum hours are Tuesday–Saturday 11am to 5pm, Sunday 12pm to 5pm. General admission is $10. Due to the fragile nature of the collections and the popular but vulnerable salon style in which they are displayed, Kirkland Museum limits all visitors to those age 13 and older.

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