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Art Center's Iowa premiere of new film on the art of the Gilded Age features only known film footage of Mark Twain

Posted on Friday, August 25, 2017

For Immediate Release
Contact: Barbara Briggie-Smith
Tel: 515.271.0343
Email: bbsmith@desmoinesartcenter.org

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Des Moines Art Center’s Iowa Premiere of new film on the art of America’s Gilded Age features only known film footage of Mark Twain

DES MOINES, IOWA (August 2017) – On Saturday, September 7 at 6 pm, filmmakers Michael Maglaras (writer/director) and Terri Templeton (executive producer) return to the Art Center to share their most recent project, “America Rising: The Arts of the Gilded Age,” released in 2017. The film will be screened in Levitt Auditorium, and is free and open to the public. It is 90 minutes in length, not rated. The filmmakers will introduce the film and offer a Q&A afterwards. The event is part of the Artists on the Big Screen + Collection Conversation. Offered quarterly, each film features an artist or influential art personality followed by insight into the figure’s relationship with the Art Center’s collection.

This exciting and compelling story covers “America’s Renaissance,” the tremendous outpouring of artistic endeavor that occurred during the time between Abraham Lincoln’s death in 1865 and the death of Mark Twain in 1910. More precisely, “America Rising” tells the story of how, after the Civil War, American art and American artists came into their own on the world stage. In painting, in sculpture, in architecture, and in music, America found its artistic soul and voice in the art created during the explosion of American economic growth, which Mark Twain wrote about in his novel, “The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today.” More than 90 high-definition examples of art are shown, including works by Childe Hassam, Winslow Homer, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, John Singer Sargent, and Alfred Stieglitz, plus the recently discovered, only known film footage of Twain, taken in 1909 – who gave “The Gilded Age” its name. “America Rising” creates a portrait of a country reinventing itself as a major artistic force after the tragic events of the Civil War, and shows an America poised, through its art, to commemorate its past and invent its future.

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About the Des Moines Art Center

Recognized by international art critics as a world-class museum in the heart of the Midwest, the Des Moines Art Center has amassed an important collection with a major emphasis on contemporary art. The collection’s overriding principle is a representation of artists from the 19th century to the present, each through a seminal work. This accounts for an impressive collection that ranges from Edward Hopper’s Automat to Jasper Johns’ Tennyson, Henri Matisse’s Woman in White, Georgia O’Keeffe’s From the Lake No. 1, Francis Bacon’s Study after Velásquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X, Bill Viola’s Ascension, and Cecily Brown’s Half-Bind.

The Art Center’s physical complex marries with the collection for a totally integrated experience. The collection is housed in three major buildings, each designed by a world-renowned architect – Eliel Saarinen, I. M. Pei, and Richard Meier. With the exception of special events, admission to the museum is free.

In September 2009, the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park opened in Des Moines’ Western Gateway Park. Philanthropists John and Mary Pappajohn have provided funding for and donated 28 sculptures by internationally acclaimed contemporary artists to the Des Moines Art Center. The collection of sculptures by such artists as Louise Bourgeois, Deborah Butterfield, Willem de Kooning, Olafur Eliasson, Keith Haring, Ellsworth Kelly, Jaume Plensa, Richard Serra, Joel Shapiro, and Mark di Suvero, is the most significant donation of artwork to the Art Center in a single gift in the museum’s history. The Pappajohn Sculpture Park was created in collaboration with the Pappajohns, the City of Des Moines, the Des Moines Art Center, and numerous corporate and private donors.

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