Colorado Springs Art and Culture Walking Tour
Starting at Van Briggle Pottery, the walking tour heads through Colorado College campus to the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center.
Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2009, the Van Briggle Pottery Company holds an important place in the development of American pottery. Founded by Artus and Anne Van Brittle in 1901, it was here that Artus, who was born in Ohio in 1869, was able to recreate the matte glaze he saw on Chinese Ming dynasty pottery while he was in Europe. This rediscovery, which had taken several years to develop, had a profound effect on American pottery and the Art Nouveau movement, which emphasized natural forms found nature. The Van Briggles (Anne was also an excellent artist) depicted animals, plants and human forms on their pottery, a large portion of which were decorative tiles. The building itself is very unique architecturally, combing elements of the Arts and Crafts movement with Flemish elements. This is not surprising since the architect, Nicolas van den Arend, was of Dutch descent. Today, the company is still active and producing pottery, maintaining the tradition that began more than a century ago.
This 1908 women's dormitory was one of the first buildings constructed for Colorado Springs, Colorado College. This Tudor-Revival style building was made possible through significant contributions from General William Jackson Palmer, founder of Colorado Springs and Medal of Honor Recipient, and Judson Bemis, a major manufacturer who moved to the city in 1881. The hall bears the latter's name, as well as for his daughter, Alice, who was also a major benefactor of the college. The hall is now used to host lectures, conferences, lunches and shows.
The Cutler Hall is a Gothic library building on the Colorado College campus in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It was the first building on the Colorado College campus, built between 1877 and 1880. Called "the College" it held all the offices, classrooms, a library, auditorium, and more for the burgeoning school. It is now used by the financial aid and admissions departments. The American Institute of Architects named Culter Hall as one of the top 20 buildings in the Pikes Peak Region.
Originally designed by William Zorach as a monument to a Texas pioneers to mark the centennial of the Texas Republic. Texas residents were outraged that the State Board of Control intended to place a nude family grouping on the campus of the state women's college. The state broke its contract with Zorach and replaced it with a more demure pioneer woman sculpted by Leo Friedlander. Zorach's design was later renamed "The Family" and cast in heroic size amid the avant-garde art movement of the 1960s for Columbia Savings bank. Castings were placed in a niche specially designed for it in the Mining Exchange Building in downtown Colorado Springs and another at the bank's Pueblo, Colorado, office. They were removed in the 1990s, and the Pueblo casting was restored and installed at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center.
The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center is one of the state's premier art institutions. It features a museum, theater, and art school. The museum's permanent collection focuses primarily on Native American and Hispanic art, murals, and sculptures. Changing exhibitions explore other topics and often feature local artists. The building was constructed in 1936 and designed by John Gaw Meem, who blended together Native American (Pueblo and Navajo) elements with the Art Deco style, which was the prominent architectural style during the 1930s. The center was founded by local philanthropist Alice Bemis Taylor, who also donated funds to Colorado College and other organizations. The theater is well respected in Colorado and presents a variety of shows throughout the year. The school features art classes for people of all ages and offers credit to students at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.