Open to visitors since September 2009, the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park features artwork by 22 of the world's most celebrated artists.
The 4.4 acre park, located within a major crossroads of the urban grid, creates a pedestrian-friendly entryway to downtown Des Moines. This accessible setting, coupled with the skilled landscape design and caliber of the art, makes it unlike any other sculpture park in the United States. The Pappajohns' contribution of 29 works for the park is the most significant donation of artwork ever made to the Des Moines Art Center.
The Pappajohn Sculpture Park is located at 1330 Grand Avenue in downtown Des Moines.
The sculpture park is open during city park hours, which are sunrise to midnight.
Guided tours are available from April 1 through October 31. Three or more weeks advance notice is needed to schedule a guided tour. Schedule a guided tour here.
Guided tours are not needed to view the sculptures; anyone is welcome to walk through the park and view the sculptures during open hours.
An audio tour of the Pappajohn Sculpture Park is available online or by dialing 515.657.8264.
Looking for ways to explore the park? The Sculpture Park Exploration Guide offers activities and various ways of engaging with 11 works of art in the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park.
- Print and Go! The Des Moines Art Center does NOT provide copies of the Sculpture Park Exploration Guide. Please provide a copy for the leader of your group ahead of time. Copies are a printable PDF on an 8 ½” x 11” paper.
- This guide was designed for educators, parents, grandparents, guardians, families, friends and all ages to interact with the sculptures and one another as a group. We welcome anyone to do these activities.
- Activities are best when large groups are divided into 15 people or less.
- Groups may not have enough time to do all activities during one visit. Please select your favorite interactive prompts.
- The activities in this guide need no materials other than a camera, if applicable.
- The sculptures are located on a map at the end of this guide for easier navigation. The numbers located on the map correspond to the sculptures in this guide.
- There are seven symbols that represent the various ways people learn (auditory, creative, emotional, etc.). For example, if you have a child that prefers learning through movement, look for the physical icon.
- Enjoy your visit to the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park!
Photography is allowed in the park. Media requests for photographs can be made via e-mail or 515.271.0344.
Touching, climbing, and sitting on the sculptures is not allowed, with the exception of Scott Burton's Seating for Eight. Although many of the sculptures appear sturdy and durable, touching or climbing will damage the sculptures and their finish. Additionally, visitors may get hurt touching or climbing on the sculptures.
FOOD AND DRINK
Picnicking is allowed. Please be sure to keep food and drink away from the sculptures and dispose of waste in the receptacles on the perimeter of the park. City park rules prohibit glass bottles and alcohol is allowed by permit only.
Smoking inside the park is prohibited. Smoking is permitted on the exterior public right of way sidewalks.
RESERVE THE PARK FOR SPECIAL EVENTS
The park can be reserved for private events. Inquiries should be directed to the City of Des Moines Information Center at 515.237.1386 or via email.