Top: Co-founders John W. Madden Jr. and daughter Cynthia Madden Leitner visiting the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, NE
Right: Blair Madden Bui, Sky Madden, Marjorie Madden, John W. Madden, Jr., Roger Leitner, Cynthia Madden Leitner, and Paul Leitner
Founded in 1981 by developer John W. Madden, Jr., Marjorie Madden and daughter Cynthia Madden Leitner, the Museum of Outdoor Arts is a synthesis of fine art, architecture and landscape design integrated into the community and business environment. It is fully accessible to the public, exemplifying the belief that “art is a part of everyday life.”
The Museum’s concept of environmental synthesis won the American Institute of Architecture Award, and in 1982 the concept of art in everyday life further developed by establishing the Museum of Outdoor Arts as a nonprofit organization.
In order to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the original John Madden Company development, Greenwood Plaza, which is sited on a high plain south of Denver and east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, a one-percent-for-art program was established to fund the purchase of art. Noted regional, national and international artists were commissioned to create site-specific pieces.
In addition to its curatorial priorities of acquisition and collection management, the Museum has developed award-winning education programs, offers broad support to regional artists and assumes wide sponsorship of the performing arts in pursuing its goal of encouraging public participation in and enjoyment of the arts.
In 2000, the Museum of Outdoor Arts opened its indoor galleries, studios and offices in the Englewood Civic Center, where it operated until 2022. MOA relocated to its largest asset, Marjorie Park and Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre in 2023, but maintains several sculpture installations at Englewood City Center.
MOA hosts integrated arts performances, temporary art installations and special events as part of its commitment to the visual and performing arts as an indispensable part of community life. Greenwood Plaza in Greenwood Village continues to be a prime showcase for the Museum’s collection. Also located in Greenwood Plaza is MOA’s Marjorie Park, which is a large sculpture park and events venue and acts as ingress and egress to Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre. The amphitheatre is also owned by MOA and is operated through a partnership with AEG Presents.
When the Museum of Outdoor Arts opened to the public in 1981 there were 19 art acquisitions on display. Currently, the pieces in the collection number over 150, 85 of which are located in publicly accessible outdoor areas.