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Top Iconic Works Of Art In Denver

From public sculptures to museums and paintings, iconic works of art can be used to sculpt the identity of a city. In addition to world-renowned paintings and a phenomenal art museum, Denver is home to many public art installations. A huge blue bear sits outside the Colorado Convention Center, a giant red chair playfully welcomes visitors to the Denver Public Library, and a notorious blue mustang sits at the entrance to Denver's world-famous airport. Take a look at the works that have helped create Denver's cultural landscape.
Blue Bear

"I See What You Mean"
Colorado Convention Center
700 14th St.
Denver, CO 80202

What most of Denver refers to as "The Big Blue Bear" is actually named "I See What You Mean." Yes, this 40-foot tall bear may still be relatively new to the Denver landscape, but there's no denying that it has quickly become an iconic image to residents and tourists alike. Created by artist Lawrence Argent, "I See What You Mean" was designed to bring a sense of whimsy curiosity to the Colorado Convention Center, and it certainly succeeds.

1949 No 1.
(credit: Clyfford Still Museum)

"1949 No. 1"
Clyfford Still Museum
1250 Bannock St.
Denver, CO 80204
(720) 354-4880

Price: $10 for adults; $6 for students and seniors; $3 for children
Hours: Tues to Thurs – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Fri – 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.,  Sat to Sun – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Clyfford Still was one of the first abstract expressionist painters in America. His renowned art reached its height in the years following World War II, as he brought abstract forms, brushwork and scale to the canvas. Following his death in 1980, the majority of Still's work was sealed off from public view. In his will, Still stated that he wanted his work to go to a city that was willing to establish a permanent museum dedicated completely to his work and his work alone. Enter, the Mile High City. Denver has been lucky enough to receive nearly 2,400 works created by Still between 1920 and 1980, including the piece "1949 No 1." This work is part of the height of Still's abstract period, and is a haunting image of loose colors and vibrancy.

RelatedTop Western Art Galleries in Denver

Denver Library - Yearling

"The Yearling"
Denver Public Library
10 W 14th Ave.
Denver, CO 80204

Just outside of the Denver Public Library is another iconic work of art impossible to miss. A giant red steel chair soars 21-feet high and 10-feet wide, and sitting on top of that chair is a 6-foot pony. Titled "The Yearling," this work of art by by Donald Lipski was originally created for an elementary school in New York. When the school district asked the artist to leave the pony off the sculpture, however, Lipski declined noting that "It just lost all it's magic." Instead, the sculpture remained intact and was moved to Denver for its permanent installation. The sculpture is meant to bring back the memories of that time when even everyday objects seemed monumental, a goal "The Yearling" definitely accomplishes.

Related: Top Art Studios in the Denver Area

"Mustang" by Luis Jiménez

Denver International Airport
8500 Pena Blvd.
Denver, CO 80249

If you've ever driven to Denver International Airport, there's no way you've missed the 32-foot fiberglass sculpture of a blue mustang with red glowing eyes. Created by artist Luis Jimenez, "Mustang" is a subject of a lot of debate among Colorado residents and tourists like. Some love it and some hate it, but everyone can agree that this statue is one of the city's more iconic features.

Related: Top Permanent Exhibits at The Denver Art Museum

Waterloo Bridge
Claude Monet, French; Waterloo Bridge; 1903. Funds from Helen Dill bequest. (credit:

"Waterloo Bridge"
Denver Art Museum
100 W. 14th Pkwy.
Denver, CO 80204
(720) 865-5000

Price: $10 for adults; $8 for students and seniors; $3 for children
Hours: Tues to Thurs – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Fri – 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sat to Sun – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

As one of the founders of French Impressionism, Claude Monet's paintings are influential worldwide. The Denver Art Museum is proud to house his "Waterloo Bridge," created by Monet around 1900. This beautiful piece of art was created when Monet traveled to London to paint a series of city portraits. Regarding this series, Monet himself noted, "Other artists paint a bridge, a house, a boat ... I want to paint the beauty of the air in which these objects are located."

Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at

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