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Upcoming Exhibitions

These planned upcoming exhibitions and dates may include working titles. All exhibitions and dates are subject to change.

Click a museum name to jump to the upcoming exhibitions for that museum.

Brunnier Art Museum
Christian Petersen Art Museum
Farm House Museum
Anderson Sculpture Garden

Brunnier Art Museum

Scheman Building, second floor

Barragán: A Spiritual Master
Photographs by Robert Duncan

August 27 – December 20, 2024

Luis Barragán (1902-1988) was a renowned Mexican architect and engineer known for elegant residences and aesthetic gardens with powerful water features. Barragán’s visual vocabulary used natural elements of water, timber, and stucco paired with vibrant color and texture. He received the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1980.

This exhibition includes twenty-six photographs by Robert Duncan, which explore and are a response to the stunning beauty, architectural elegance, and color of Barragán’s architectural masterpieces Cuadra San Crist́obal and Casa Gilardi. Curated by Anne Pagel with Merrill Peterson, collaborator.


In Their Time 
August 27 – December 20, 2024

At times throughout history, museums have been seen as static, unchanging, and out of sync with popular taste and fashion. This generalization is often located in the belief that art or history museums that aim to exhibit the past do not always make room for changing ideas. Yet contemporary art or cultural museums are also confronted with similar accusations, which can come out of very understandable circumstances and reasons due to current worldwide sociopolitical situations.

In Their Time is an exhibition that examines those questions within University Museums’ collections and aims to lift the veil from museum work and curation. What does it mean to be an art institution on the brink of its 50th anniversary? How did the collection come into existence? What has changed in the last 50 years due to taste, society, and popular thought? How do the Museums deal with the problematic objects housed within the collections? Why do the Museums continue to care for and conserve certain objects, yet not others? Who are the donors that have made this 50-year history possible? What is the future of museums and how does a university museum fit into these new conversations about the role of museums?

Spun out of an idea to take a hard look at those objects in the collection that have lost favor in the eyes of popular taste, this exhibition is an opportunity to engage University Museums curators with Iowa State University faculty and students to ask those difficult, probing questions and engage in a meaningful dialogue about the future of museums.


In Conversation: Will Wilson
January 21 – May 4, 2025

In Conversation presents the works of Diné (Navajo) photographer Will Wilson (b. 1969) and Edward Sheriff Curtis (1868-1952). Wilson explores the relationship of science, identity, agency, and representation in photography while also considering the lasting legacy of historical photographs on the representation of Native peoples in North America. Wilson responds directly to the work of Curtis, who is best known for his 20-volume The North American Indian (1907-1930), which was created as a way to capture the supposed vanishing race of Native Americans while also helping to shape public perception of Native peoples. Wilson’s ongoing Critical Indigenous Photographic Exchange (CIPX) addresses these misconceptions through his use of historical photographic techniques and emphasis on a reciprocal relationship with the sitters, which allows for agency over all aspects of their presentation. Wilson pushes the CIPX project even further into the contemporary with the inclusion of “Talking Tintypes,” which uses AR technology in a convenient app to bring photographs to life.  In Conversation is a contemporary exploration of the science of photography but also a response to the historical impact and importance of (self-) representation.


Landscape & Self-expression
January 21 – July 26, 2025

The landscape genre has been explored through a range of artistic media for centuries. Humans have always been drawn to the beauty, mystery, and volatility that exists within the natural world. As in nature, those same qualities can be found in people; humans are endlessly fascinating in their diversity and strangeness. Throughout time artists have turned to the landscape as a form of self-expression and reflection on humanity, instead of merely an idealized depiction. Landforms and nature are mined for imagery, often collaged together, and abstracted as a conduit to the feelings and emotions of an artist. When used in this manner, the landscape no longer acts as an alternative for nature, but rather becomes a highly personalized metaphor for an artist and greater humanity.


Flowers, Animals, and Humans
January 21 – July 26, 2025
Ann Brunnier Decorative Arts Gallery


50 Years of Collecting
August – December 2025

In celebration of University Museums 50th anniversary, the Brunnier Art Museum will travel through time and memories with a presentation of Fifty Years of Collecting. Included in the exhibition will be examples from the collection of Ann and Henry Brunnier, whose foundational decorative arts objects continue to be used in curricula across campus and in unique exhibitions. Over the last fifty years many donors have added greatly to the permanent collection with a wide variety of decorative arts, works on paper, paintings, and more. These gifts have strengthened the Museums core collection, while also expanding and allowing further development of several other areas of collecting. Today, the permanent collection continues to grow with new acquisitions made through donor funds and designated gifts, but each is tied to the legacy began by the Brunniers and is purposefully made to fulfill the mission of University Museums and Iowa State University.


Preserving the Past
August – December 2025

Throughout University Museums' fifty years, many works of art have been rediscovered, relocated, and conserved to connect the important history of art made on and for Iowa State’s campus. When the Museums came into existence, there was a concerted effort to present the story of the aesthetic campus and how the arts have long been a key part of the campus. This has led to many works of art being found through deep investigations or out of the blue conversations with faculty and staff. By finding, conserving, and caring for these objects, University Museums is now able to communicate to students today the incredible importance of art at Iowa State University, while also continuing to add contemporary art that will inform future generations. Preserving the Past celebrates these amazing stories and hopefully inspires new discoveries of art tied to the history of Iowa State.


Single Object Focus
August 2025 – July 2026
Ann Brunnier Decorative Arts Gallery


Fairytales from the Permanent Collection
Co-curated by Dr. Michèle Schaal, ISU Professor of French and Women’s and Gender Studies
January – July 2026

Although all major artforms may be found in cultures across the globe, storytelling remains one of the oldest and most universal artistic expressions. Whether through reciting, creating, listening to, or reading tales, stories, old and new, impact everyone’s lives. From childhood on in, humans are told or make up their own stories. Some of these tales are transmitted from generation to generation and even date back to early human times. Many have also endured, albeit always transformed and adapted to their context.

The purpose of the exhibition “Tell Me a Story” is to explore the enduring impact of folk, fairy, mythological, spiritual, and other tales, whether old or new, on humans across the globe, as well as these enduring global stories’ specificities and commonalities. This exhibition will feature objects from the University Museums Collections, highlighting both national and global tales and stories. The exhibition will demonstrate that despite cultural specificities and differences, storytelling shapes who we are and help humans understand themselves and the world around them. In short, tales are a pathway to human and global understanding.


Norwood Viviano
January – May, 2026


Beautiful Black
August – December 2026


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Christian Petersen Art Museum

Morrill Hall, first floor and lower level

Artists of an Era: A New Deal, Iowa Artists, and Iowa State College
August 27 – December 20, 2024
Campbell Gallery, first floor

Drawn primarily from the permanent collection of University Museums, this exhibition features a series of works of art from the 1930s and 1940s and offers an early view of campus art collecting, alongside works of art by artists involved in the Federal New Deal art programs for the university. Artists of an Era celebrates the heritage and history of Iowa State College that these images carry with them.


The Woods: Jeanine Coupe Ryding
January – July 2025
Campbell Gallery, first floor

An exhibition of Ryding’s latest body of work exploring the distillation of experiences, thoughts, and the environment. This exhibition encourages viewers to reflect on their own relationship with place, the natural world, and memory.  


Early Works by Jeanine Coupe Ryding
January – July 2025
Neva M. Petersen Gallery, lower-level hallway

This exhibition highlights artworks from the Art on Campus Collection by Jeanine Coupe Ryding and demonstrates the dynamism and progression of her artistic practice from various stages in her career.


Poetry is Everywhere
January – July 2025
Reiman Gallery, lower level

This exhibition examines the practice of poetry as a form of visual literacy—considering how poetry can be a lens for understanding works of art. Ranging from the founding of the Art on Campus Collection to contemporary works of art, this diverse collection of objects speaks to themes of memory and place, as well as interpretation over time.


Beth Lipman
August – December 2025
Campbell Gallery, first floor

An exhibition of Beth Lipman's studio work to celebrate new public art sculpture installed in April 2025.

Unknown Political Prisoner, Christian Petersen
August – December 2025
Neva M. Petersen Gallery, lower-level hallway

In connection with the installation of sculpture in the Anderson Sculpture Garden, an exhibition of Christian Petersen’s Unknown Political Prisoner maquette and related drawings will be shown in the Neva M Petersen Gallery. This exhibit will shed light on this unique sculpture by Christian Petersen and reveal the context behind these works, exploring Petersen’s changing depictions of war and its victims throughout his career. This exhibition will celebrate the recently pointed and enlargement of Unknown Political Prisoner installed in Anderson Sculpture Garden in 2025.



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Farm House Museum

Farm House Lane


Yuletide: Festival
November – December 2024

The Farm House Museum has a warm glow this time of year, making it the perfect place to kick off the holiday season on campus. Join us as we gather in the beauty of ISU campus’ oldest building to share in the Victorian holiday festival and celebrate the upcoming new year.


Women's Domestic Artistries: 1860 – 1910
February – October 2025

Women’s Domestic Artistries invites visitors to view historical craft traditions of the Civil War and Victorian Era. The art and crafts featured in this exhibition serve as touchpoints in a long history of artistic tradition, tracing the histories of gender norms, creativity, expression, and identity of women as leaders in the creation of home decoration, commemorative objects, art, and meaning in their lives.

The exhibition will highlight domestic artistries produced by women from 1860 through 1910 including quilting, tramp art, mourning art, illustration, pottery, painting, taxidermy and more through primary source objects from the permanent collection. 


Yuletide: Glad Tidings
November – December 2025

The Farm House Museum has a certain twinkle this time of year, making it the perfect place to kick off the holiday season with friends old and new. Join us as we gather in the beauty of ISU campus’ oldest building to share glad tidings, merriment and good cheer.


America 250: Prairie, Plows, and the People's College
February – October 2026

On July 4, 2026, the United States will commemorate the 250th anniversary of its founding. The Farm House Museum, built in 1860, has been central to the development of campus, Iowa State heritage, education, innovation, and national policy.

“The journey toward this historic milestone is an opportunity to pause and reflect on our nation’s past, honor the contributions of all Americans, and look ahead toward the future we want to create for the next generation and beyond.” - U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission

America 250: Prairie, Plows, and the People’s College will honor the key people, moments and experiences that have been centered within the Farm House Museum, campus’ first building. This exhibition will explore America’s 250th through 250 primary source objects from honoring the land of the original indigenous people to the plowing of the prairie, campus development and the fostering of generations of democratic and innovative citizens.


Yuletide + America 250: History for the Holidays
November – December 2026

To celebrate the culmination of the 250th founding year of the United States, the Farm House Museum presents History for the Holidays. This exhibition explores the holiday traditions that were brought to the United States by immigrants, decorations that are uniquely “American”, and festivities that have brought Iowa State campus together in merriment year after year since the 1860s. The Farm House Museum has a certain twinkle this time of year, making it the perfect place to honor the history of the holiday season with friends old and new.


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Anderson Sculpture Garden

Outside Morrill Hall


Hive Mind 
May 2025 – May 2027

Celebrate the new sculpture commission Hive Mind by Beth Lipman, plus complementary sculptures from the permanent collection.


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