Des Moines Art Center receives grant award from Humanities Iowa

Posted on Thursday, August 1, 2019

For Immediate Release
Contact: Barbara Briggie-Smith or Jordan Powers
Tel: 515.271.0343 or 515.271.0344
Email: or

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The Des Moines Art Center has received a major grant award of $10,060 from Humanities Iowa, a state-based affiliate of the National Endowment of the Humanities, in support of exhibition programming in conjunction with the upcoming exhibition Monument Valley, on view October 4, 2019 – January 12, 2020. Monument Valley is a group exhibition of multi-media contemporary art that questions and deconstructs stereotypes and mythology about the American West. Programming includes:

  • Revisionist Western Film Series: Monument Valley
  • Gallery Talk/Artist Performance + Residency: Gina Adams, Broken Treaty Quilts
  • Panel Discussion: “Creative Citizenship: Contemporary Art, Activism, and Narrative” with
    Artist Wendy Red Star; Art Historian/Critic Dr. Jordan Amirkhani; and Writer/Comedian/Activist Ryan McMahon (moderated by exhibition Curator Laura Burkhalter)
  • 2019 Fingerman Lecture Series: Kevin Gover, Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, “Why Americans Should Unlearn their History”
  • Gallery Talk: “Contemporary Art and Public Lands” with Iowa Artist/Activist Jordan Weber and Iowa-based land trust and conservation nonprofit, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation

This Humanities Iowa grant aids the Des Moines Art Center in further increasing and promoting accessibility to contemporary art and artists, as well as quality art education. Admission to the Art Center is free as the institution is dedicated to being a welcoming and equitable cultural resource for all.

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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entirely unexpected