Friday, January 9, 2015

Allen Tupper- True Murals in the former Colorado National Bank Building

The Renaissance Hotel opened this last year in downtown Denver after an extensive restoration of the former Colorado National Bank building that was built a century ago.  What makes this interior so special are the series of 16 original oil-on-canvas murals.  
Over the years I have fallen in love with murals from the one in the library in Patzcuaro, Mexico depicting the history of the state of Michocan to the murals painted by Siqueros at the Bellas Artes in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
Indian Memories is a series of murals painted by the western muralist, Allen Tupper-True.  He also has painted numerous murals in Wyoming and Missouri.  Painted in 1925, the Indian Memories cost $18,000.
There are five triptychs that depict a different aspect of a Native American's life:  Youth, Buffalo Hunt, War, Women and Art Work
The largest of the murals, Happy Hunting Ground, is located above the porte-cochere entrance.  True described this as "an attempt to suggest some of the wonderment, awe and tremendous expectation with which the Indian looked forward to the great adventure of the end of life's trail, platform, as his spirit gazes eagerly at what lies ahead".
A close up of the great chief.  What a wonderful palate of colors.
Youth, located above the Club Lounge, is a few scenes of young boys celebrating their success in their first hunt.  

Young boys are gathered around the crane that one of them had just killed in the hunt. In the middle-foreground of the painting is a Sioux sun symbol.
Buffalo Hunt, located above the entrance to range, depicts a hunter surrounded by smoke from his fire while dreaming of his successful hunt.  The dream is filled with stampeding buffaloes stirring up the dust from the dry ground and warriors mounted on their galloping horses in pursuit.
Women is located above the reception area.
 In this particular scene, an older women in sitting by the edge of a waterfall in which she sees images of her younger self, laughing and splashing water with other young maidens.
Next time you are downtown, stop in the Renaissance for a drink and take in the spectacular murals.  I think you will enjoy the space also.

Renaissance Hotel
The corner of Champa and 17th Street
Downtown Denver

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