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This story was published before Summer 2021, when we launched our new digital experience.

The New Aspen Art Museum

Thirty minutes inside the revamped landmark.

Photography by Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images.


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The façade of the Aspen Art Museum, which opens in a new location August 9, is fittingly rugged for its setting. The loosely woven, undulating wooden boards resemble a hunter’s net cast over the cube-like structure, which is fives times the size of AAM’s previous home. The building, the first permanent U.S. museum from Pritzker prize–winning Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, is set to become a new local landmark: Dawdle for five minutes in each of the six new exhibition spaces spread across four floors and 30,000 square feet. The highlight of the inaugural shows is a pairing of David Hammons and Yves Klein, which CEO and director Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson calls “the kind of show you could only do for the opening of a museum—I had to get down on bended knee to acquire many of the works.”

Linger a little longer over a coffee in AAM’s rooftop sculpture garden, the only public site of that height in town; it will offer Instagram-ready snaps of Aspen Mountain. Zuckerman Jacobson is tight-lipped about the debut installation here by New York–based Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang. “Two little hints,” she teases. “A fireworks display in daylight, and using tortoises—that symbol of luck and longevity—to capture people who are no longer with us.” At 637 E. Hyman Ave.;


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