Colorado Springs, Land of Museums

Founded as a resort town, Colorado Springs has long been a center for arts and culture. While Buffalo Bill’s Wild West shows were taking place in Denver, Colorado Springs was hosting writers and artists.

I believe this predilection for the finer things in life is one reason the city has so many museums. Visit Colorado Springs has 24 area museums listed on their web site, making this city a must-visit for museum fanatics.

Colorado Springs, Land of Museums. FAC -
Fine Arts Center, Colorado Springs, Colorado

A Visit to the Money Museum in Colorado Springs

The Money Museum is all about money. It features one of the most complete U.S. gold coin collections ever assembled, including many one-of-a-kind specimens, and the History of Money exhibit will show and tell you how your “change has changed” over the years. We, however, visited this museum to see their Olympic Games exhibit which will run through March 2017.

Colorado Springs, land of museums

The Olympic Games – History & Numismatics, will appeal not only to coin collectors, but also to fans of the Olympics. In addition to medals from ancient times to modern day, visitors can see a figure skating outfit worn by Tara Lipinski and an Olympic stuffed mascot collection. Does anyone else think the Olympic mascots are weird?

Colorado Springs, Land of Museums. Money Museum Olympic exhibit

In addition to Olympic medals and memorabilia you can pose on a podium in your own medal ceremony at the Olympic exhibit at the Money Museum. How cool is that?

Frank Mechau at the Fine Arts Center in Colorado Springs

Ryan and I enjoy visiting art museums. After all, Ryan’s a trained artist and designs and builds furniture for a living.

Colorado Springs, land of museums, Mechau_Horses_cropped
Wild Horses, Frank Mechau, ca. 1936, Fresco, Commissioned by the CSFAC

Over the years, I have discovered the best way to experience an art exhibit is with a guide. A guided tour adds an additional level of art appreciation and understanding to a museum visit. And that’s exactly what happened at the FAC Legacy Series: Frank Mechau exhibit at the Fine Arts Center in Colorado Springs.

We received a tour from Blake Milteer, executive director and the chief curator of the Fine Arts Center (FAC). In fact, all FAC guests are able to participate in a guided tour with a trained docent from 12 to 1 p.m. daily with paid gallery admission. No reservations necessary.

The FAC began life as an arts academy in 1920. Sixteen years later, it became the first multi-disciplined arts center west of the Mississippi, offering an art school, theater and gallery. It still offers all three today.

Colorado Springs, Land of Museums. Fine Arts Center.

Colorado artist, Frank Mechau (1904-1946), has a long association with the arts center and is considered to be one of the “greatest artists associated with the early 20th Century development of Colorado art.”

The Kansas born artist was raised in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. In love with the West, it is the focus of much of Mechau’s work and his West is portrayed in vivid colors and is constantly in motion.

One of the paintings in this extensive Mechau show is Indian Fight (below), a painting he painted at the Fine Arts Center in Colorado Springs in 1936.

Colorado Springs, land of museum, MECHAU, F., Indian Fight, ca. 1936
Indian Fight, ca. 1936, Tempera on canvas, 59 x 133 inches, Treasury Relief Art Project, 1935-1938, Fine Arts Collection, U.S. General Services Administration

I liked this show because it’s Colorado like you’ve never seen it before. We’re so used to conventional cowboy art that Mechau’s work seems delightfully different. Visitors familiar with the Western Slope may even recognize some famous landmarks.

The FAC Legacy Series: Frank Mechau exhibit at the Fine Arts Center in Colorado Springs runs through May 15, 2016 and will add a splash of color to any springtime Colorado Springs visit.

Thank you to Visit Colorado Springs for hosting us on this trip.



  1. The Money Museum is a must see! I am a local and I love seeing the history of money – I always find something new every time I go there!


    1. that’s awesome, Sammy! I always encourage locals to visit their city’s museums. So happy to hear that you are already doing this.


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