The University of Denver has announced a gift of a hundred and twenty artworks valued at $10 million from local developer John Madden.
The gift will establish the "Madden Collection at the University of Denver," with works by artists ranging from pioneering Western painters Albert Bierstadt and Thomas Moran, to American masters Thomas Hart Benton and Robert Rauschenberg, to contemporary Chinese-born American painter Hung Liu. The collection also boasts outstanding works by Italian painters of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Many of the newly donated works are on view at the MADDEN Museum of Art in Greenwood Village, a free public museum established by Madden in 2008. The gift doubles the value of the University Art Collection's existing art assets, which now number more than thirty-four hundred works, and will create new opportunities for DU students majoring in art history, museum studies, studio art, and other fields.
A longtime supporter of the university, Madden, the developer of the Fiddler's Green campus in Greenwood Village, and the Madden Family Foundation also have provided support for students studying in the School of Art and Art History and the Madden Challenge, an undergraduate case competition in which first-year business students build a mobile app and present a plan to bring it to market.
"For a decade, we've worked hard to organize our collections," said University Art Collections curator Dan Jacobs. "Mr. Madden's gift perfectly complements some of our existing holdings, particularly in European and American landscape painting. Gifts of pieces by Grandma Moses, Robert Rauschenberg, and Viola Frey take us into whole new areas with works of truly significant quality. It even features a stunning collection of work by local painter Daniel Sprick, adding yet another dimension. It's a transformational gift, and I'm really looking forward to sharing it with colleagues, students, and our expanding audience."