Above is a selection of the Des Moines Art Center's permanent collections works currently on view in the museum.
"The collecting focus of the Des Moines Art Center remains centered on modern and contemporary art objects in all media, although the works on paper collection spans seven centuries and continues to grow in all time periods. The historical prints and drawings serve to inform the art of our time; curators often combine works from multiple time periods in the galleries to place each in context.
Traditionally, the Art Center has striven for quality over quantity, acquiring a seminal work to present an artist's body of work. The Art Center's success in this approach to collecting can be seen in noteworthy examples such as Georgia O'Keeffe's From the Lake No. 1, 1924; Edward Hopper's Automat, 1927; Jean Dubuffet's The Village with Close-Cropped Hair, 1947; Francis Bacon's Study of Velásquez's Portrait of Pope Innocent X, 1953; Frank Stella's Union Pacific, 1960; Richard Diebenkorn's Ocean Pacific No. 70, 1974…among many others. The result of this approach has been the creation of a collection renowned for the strength of its holdings."
– Director Jeff Fleming from Des Moines Art Center Collects