Nancy Babson Tieken; BA 1963; died December 2013


Nancy Tieken

The art community in Denver mourns the loss of Nancy Babson Tieken, who was born in Chicago in 1940 to Theodore and Elizabeth Tieken. Nancy was always involved in the art world, from her formative years at Radcliffe / Harvard where she received an MFA to her professional career, which included positions and trusteeships at the Los Angeles County Museum, the Currier Museum in New Hampshire, The Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusetts, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, The National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in California, and most recently the Denver Art Museum. She started working at the Denver Art Museum in 1991 and filled a number of positions including Associate Curator and Adjunct Curator in the Modern and Contemporary department, and most recently was the Creative Manager of Collection Publications. In that position, she helped to launch the new program of Companion Guides and published: Companion to Blink! Light, Sound and the Moving Image; Companion to Focus: The Figure Art from the Logan Collection; The Helen Dill Bequest: A Schoolteacher's Legacy; Companion to Focus: Robert Motherwell from the Collection; Collecting Ideas: Modern & Contemporary Works from the Polly and Mark Addison Collection. The exhibitions she organized include Abstract Expressionism from the Poindexter Collection at the Montana Historical Society, Wordworks by Roland Bernier, Seven-Point Perspective: Photography from the Denver Salon, and The View from Denver, an exhibition of the museum's collection in Vienna. In the past 23 years Nancy contributed to the acquisition of some of the most important work of the museum's Modern and Contemporary collection including: Corner Piece by Dan Flavin, Wheatfields by Jim Dine, a major installation by James Turrell, Lao-Tzu by Mark di Suvero (sited on the plaza in front of the North Building), Big Sweep by Claus Oldenburg, Quantum Cloud 33 by Antony Gormley and the Yearling by Donald Lipski. Nancy had an inquisitive mind and unflinching opinions in matters of art. She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law Joseph and Andronica Wheelock of Lincoln, Massachusetts, grandchildren Joseph Theodore Wheelock and Charles Stanley and her sister Elizabeth Kirkpatrick of Denver. She also leaves longtime friend and artist Bill Hayes of Denver. A celebration of her life will be held at the Denver Art Museum in January. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributing to the Denver Art Museum's newly established Nancy Tieken Fund for Modern and Contemporary Art, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway, Denver, CO 80204.

[Published in The Denver Post on December 22, 2013]