City Cast

Remembering 'Linda,' the DAM's Most Life-Like Sculpture

Bree Davies
Bree Davies
Posted on October 23
Museum visitors examine “Linda” at the 1983 annual "Collectors Choice" benefit.

Museum visitors examine “Linda” at the 1983 annual "Collectors Choice" benefit. (Dennis Chamberlin / The Denver Post / Getty Images)

Do you remember “Linda”? The famous, eerily life-like sculpture from local artist John DeAndrea was acquired by the Denver Art Museum in 1984, but spends much of her time in storage. The reason? Her polyvinyl “skin” slowly degrades when exposed to light, so her time in the spotlight is limited.

In this photo, Linda is examined by the museum patrons who would decide her ultimate fate — up against other works of art that year, Linda prevailed as the “Collectors Choice” and became a part of the DAM’s permanent collection.

As a Denver child of the ‘80s, I loved going to the museum just to see her. Back in 2011 for Westword, I spoke with Sarah Melching, the DAM’s director of conservation, about the delicate nature of Linda’s materials and the ongoing process of her preservation.

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