Houser’s Art at the Denver Botanic Garden

Considering this was my first-ever visit to the Denver Botanic Garden, I felt lucky that there was an outdoor sculpture exhibition by Allan Houser called Modern Form: Plants, Peoples, and the Art of Allan Houser. Although I’d never heard of Houser before, I’m quite fond of sculpture, especially when it’s tied to another love, Indian art.

I think I spent more time photographing his sculptures than I did the flowers. I thought this sculpture was particularly powerful, if not haunting:

Houser sculpture

In my younger days, particularly those spent in the Armor Branch at Ft Irwin, I would have been more moved by this sculpture,

Houser's archer sculpture

but those days have long passed and I find myself drawn to more peaceful views, like this one of a woman grinding corn,

Houser sculpture of woman grinding corn

or this one. This one is so close to life-sized that I almost felt like I was there with this shepherd.

Shepherd carrying lamb

In fact, I was so struck that I came back and shot it from three more angles, and all of them seemed delightful to me.

Another view of shepherd

There’s something about the herder carrying the lamb that just plain appeals to me. Must have been having the grandkids along for the day.

Of course, I couldn’t resist going to Houser’s site, where I learned his parents were Chiricahua Apaches who had been interred. Talk about a rags-to-riches life! One more reason I need to get to Santa Fe.

Denver Botanic Gardens

I love flowers too much to go to the Denver Botanic Gardens and not post a few shots of flowers I saw there, though the place is so huge that we only got to see part of the York Street Gardens.

The Tropical Conservatory and the orchid display in Marnie’s Pavilion must surely be a highlight for most visitors, and I found it impossible not to try to capture some of the beauty of the various orchids, from varieties I’d never seen before

Exotic pink flowers

to more traditional looking, but even more spectacular blooms.


Personally, though, I was fonder of less spectacular flowers, like the these flower-within-a-flower hanging baskets,

hanging basket

these unusual looking Lilies (?),


but, most of all, this simple purple and red scene,

purple and red flowers

which probably says way more about me than it does about the Denver Botanic Garden.