SUNDAY, MAY 9 / 10 AM – 4 PM

Des Moines Art Center presents exhibition in the spirit of Louise Noun

Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2018

For Immediate Release
Contact: Barbara Briggie-Smith
Tel: 515.271.0343

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Des Moines Art Center exhibition highlights work in the spirit of Louise Noun 

DES MOINES, IOWA (May 2018) – On Saturday, June 9, the Des Moines Art Center will open
In the Spirit of Louise Noun, which will be on view through September 2, 2018, in the Anna K. Meredith Gallery.

Many people in Des Moines remember or know about Louise Rosenfield Noun (1908-2002), who was a leader in the community as well as a feminist, civic and social activist, philanthropist, art historian, and collector of art. She was a dedicated leader at the Art Center as an active member of the Acquisitions Committee and the Board of Directors. In addition to her invaluable gift of guidance and time, she bequeathed the Art Center her collection of more than 200 works of art by women artists.

In the Spirit of Louise Noun does not exclusively feature work from Noun’s collection. Instead, art selected from her collection is juxtaposed with other works of art that amplify the subjects and themes found in the work collected by Noun. In addition to placing works together to create lively conversations, the juxtapositions will illustrate how Noun’s spirit is alive and well at the Art Center.

The exhibition was organized on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Young Women’s Resource Center, for which Noun was the leading founder. Programs specifically for young women at the YWRC and Art Center will be incorporated into this exhibition. The artworks selected for the exhibition are meant to further the conversations young women have at the YWRC about body-image, self-esteem, and reproductive health. The works will represent and embody the beauty, resiliency, and strength that all women possess. These and other works will also address issues of social justice related to race, religion, gender, equity, and mortality, all issues in which Noun was invested. Learn more about the YWRC’s 40th Anniversary at

In the Spirit of Louise Noun is organized by Director of Curatorial Affairs/Senior Curator Alison Ferris.

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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