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Our 10 Most Photographed Places & Pieces of 2015

Posted on Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Written by Social Media Manager Megan Bannister

By far one of the coolest parts of my job is checking the Art Center's social media feeds to see the entirely unexpected photos our visitors have shared from their trips to the museum and Pappajohn Sculpture Park. It's also a lot of fun to follow the patterns and trends of what our visitors photograph most.

While the focus may change with the seasons and exhibitions we have on view, over the last 12 months I noticed there were a few works that we saw shared across Instagram again and again. So to close out 2015, I decided to compile a list of our 10 most Instagrammed pieces and places of the past year.


Katz Composite

We love that our visitors want to see themselves in pieces from the permanent collection, especially when it comes to Alex Katz's Ada's Garden (2000). Visitors tried to blend into this piece in the lower Richard Meier building more than any other during 2015.

Photo Credit from top left: 2sumit2quit, blackcapphotography, jpshelley, haverlee, amandagwendolyn, gianlucasigismondi, peyton_cowknee, jefferycarl, emma_gosnell.

9. Selfies in the olafur eliasson

Eliasson Selfie Composite

It's hard to resist a good selfie location, and lots of you found one this year in Olafur Eliasson's panoramic awareness pavilion (2013).

Photo Credit from top left: kimguare, olsoneric73, poutfits, mszjen, meanzchan, joejoeleamo, srhatten, madysonpphotography, thecourtz.

8. I. m. Pei staircase & bridge 

I. M. Pei Stairs Composite

Tucked against the back windows of the Art Center's I. M. Pei building is another visitor favorite—the main level's floating bridge and keyhole staircase. With the changing daylight and new seasons come lots of creative photos of this part of our building and grounds.

Photo Credit from top left: mgmatty, isaac__au, j_slimm, chuygonza, lindzaelou, cataldo_photography1, bryanpendz, erika.gidley, arthurhitchcock.

7. in front of the sol Lewitt

Sol Lewitt Composite

Sol LeWitt's Wall Drawing #601, Forms Derived from a Cube (25 Variations) (1989) is a popular photo op due largely to its bright colors and larger-than-life scale. We love seeing the new ways visitors interact with this Conceptual Art piece.

Photo Credit from top left: stockbroker1973, amanda_bartlett, avigail.rodriguez, valchartervalerialejandra, hellolela, twiblr_lindseyp97_, onthony.

6. Des Moines skyline framed by mark di suvero's T8

T8 Composite

The Des Moines skyline is a favorite shot for locals and visitors alike. But framed by the Pappajohn Sculpture Park and Mark di Suvero's T8 (1987), many of you found the composition to be irresistible. 

Photo Credit from top left: edeniowa, drcelinapeerman, hannahschurrer, cynthiafodor, jlickteig, kcci8, maddieburch, abelingb, evolson.

5. Fiber: Sculpture 1960 – present

Fiber Composite

This summer we brought the traveling exhibition, Fiber: Sculpture 1960 – present, to the Art Center and had an incredible number of photos of the popular exhibition shared using hashtag #FiberInDSM.

Photo Credit from top left: _megspresso, rua.a, teachdestiny, lingonberrysl, siaraberrycarly_ellefsenkirstenw, jengeigley, alexcrmiller.

4. Richard Meier building atrium & staircase

Meier Stairs Composite

Our visitors love the Art Center's architecture as much as its art, which is why we weren't at all surprised to see that the Richard Meier building's atrium and staircase topped your favorite places to snap a photo.

Photo Credit from top left: alexandermichl, miat_86, cesar18ryan, crayonsandcuriosities, davidkpugh, sashajpg, iancoon, johnnyquest07, mrmmmok.

3. Andy Goldsworthy's Three Cairns

Goldsworthy Composite

Located on the grounds of the Art Center, Andy Goldsworthy's Three Cairns is a photographer favorite no matter the season. From newborns and puppies to entire fourth grade classes and wedding parties, we've seen visitors of all types enjoy this photo op.

Photo Credit from top left: allieseeyawright, jamimilne, tevalee, nicooleryan, elenahicks, iam_hollyjoelle, kelseywilliams, lovkatherine, calvalier.

2. Dan Flavin's Untitled (For Ellen) in the Richard Meier building

Flavin Composite

Whether you're re-enacting "Hotline Bling" or snapping a smooching silhouette, Dan Flavin's Untitled (For Ellen) (1975), located in the Richard Meier building, has quickly become an Art Center favorite.

Photo Credit from top left: mtmoller, jamimilne, freckles.jpg, lindeycarlson, meanzchan, tom_scholl, brooklynnh512, moiraculous, big. johnston.

1. Jaume Plensa's Nomade

Jaume Plensa's Nomade

The iconic Pappajohn Sculpture Park piece is by far the park's most-photographed location. From selfies to skyline shots, we see dozens of posts every week featuring Jaume Plensa's steel sculpture Nomade (2007).

Photo Credit from top left: paigekleckner, instaa_em, raealexis, katdonn, fresk, jon_mathews, justinrogers, stretch415elyssaappleton.

entirely unexpected