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Upcoming Exhibitions

Brunnier Art Museum

Compelling Ground: Landscapes, Peoples, and Environments of Iowa
January 11 to July 23, 2021

In 1995 University Museums at Iowa State University curated and organized the important exhibition Land of the Fragile Giants: Landscapes, Environments and Peoples of the Loess Hills, held at the Brunnier Art Museum. This landmark exhibition explored an area of western Iowa, renowned for its geologically unique terrain and exceptional natural beauty, the Loess Hills. The exhibition engaged Midwestern artists to visit the Loess Hills and from those interactions create works of art. The artists involved successfully captured the beauty of that region and the exhibition not only traveled around the state and toured three continents with the international tour concluding in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington DC. Over three million visitors experienced this exhibition.

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of that landmark exhibition, University Museums has developed a new exhibition, Compelling Ground: Landscapes, Environments, and Peoples of Iowa. The exhibition builds upon the initial idea of using the geography, landscape, and people of Iowa to inspire beautiful art. Artists will again employ their artistic medium in response to the landscape of Iowa, but Compelling Ground will move beyond just the western region of the Loess Hills and encompass the entire state of Iowa. The hope is to highlight the diverse landscapes around the state, along with the agricultural impacts on the land. Compelling Ground will strive to include the people who are part of the heritage of this state and explore the continuing impact of agriculture on the land and culture of Iowa. Finally, the exhibition will also include art that examines the great changes that have occurred in Iowa over the 25 years since the original exhibition; whether natural, cultural, societal, or environmental.

Land of the Fragile Giants was a groundbreaking exhibition that used art to examine the landscape and history of a unique region in Iowa. Twenty-five years later Compelling Ground will encompass a broader view, but continue to use art as a medium to open up discourse about the land of this state and our agricultural heritage. Looking back at the significant changes in land use, agriculture, sustainability, and climate, Compelling Ground will also use art to reconcile those changes and hopefully begin the conversation about what needs to or could happen in the next twenty-five years.


Art Nouveau Innovation: Danish Porcelain from an American Collector
January 19 to May 9, 2021                                                                                        
Ann Brunnier Decorative Arts Gallery

Art Nouveau Innovation: Danish Porcelain from an American Collector is a beautifully curated traveling exhibition coordinated by the Museum of Danish America in Elk Horn, Iowa. Drawn from a passionate collector of Royal Copenhagen and Bing and Grøndahl porcelain, nearly 100 objects will be exhibited focusing on the use of Art Nouveau motifs and style in Danish porcelain between the 1880s and 1920s. The works of art will examine the height of artistry and innovation in Danish porcelain at this time in history, along with the short-lived yet exceptionally important international Art Nouveau movement in the decorative and fine arts.


Arte Cubano
August 24 to November 2, 2021                                                                   

Arte Cubano highlights a universally agreed-upon characteristic of the island’s art: an incredible diversity. Cuban art is so rich in large part because of its diverse cultural blend of African, European, and Latin/Caribbean influences. Add to these traditional roots the revolution of 1959, and Cuban art occupies a unique aesthetic place in the contemporary art world.                                 


Amber Cowan
January to July 2022                                                                                     

Glass artist Amber Cowan uniquely intertwines contemporary glassmaking with historical American mass produced pressed glass to create narrative and abstract sculptures which invite close looking to form visual interpretations. Her intricate and highly detailed sculptures are made through meticulous lampworking, glass blowing, and hot working techniques using recycled and up-cycled 19th century American pressed glass objects and excess factory produced glass. The exhibition will celebrate Cowan’s newest work of art commissioned by University Museums for the permanent collection, along with a selection of her narrative and abstract glass sculptures. 


Contemporary Craft
January to July 2022                                                   


Studio to Contemporary Glass
August 24, 2021 to July 2022
Ann Brunnier Decorative Arts Gallery


Christian Petersen Art Museum

Campbell Gallery (first floor - 1017)

Rose Frantzen
January to July 2021

In this exhibition, the focus will be on Rose Frantzen’s Faces of Illusion series, which incorporates visual illusions into large scale portraits exploring identity and how we perceive others. Examples from Rose’s vast contribution to the Art on Campus collection will also be on view, from the Faces of Iowa State project, portraiture, and preparatory material for her mural in the renovated Ivy College of Business. Rose will also be completing new additions to the Faces series during this exhibition.


Ginnever: Folded Forms
August to December 2021

Origami series maquettes and drawings, in conjunction with the outdoor Ginnever exhibition in the Anderson Sculpture Garden.


Reiman Gallery (lower level - 0003)

reACT Exhibition Series
January 19 to February 12, 2021


FOCUS: Critical Conversations with Art
March 1 to April 2, 2021
April 12 to May 7, 2021


Farm House Museum

Flicker and Flame: Whale Oil and Kerosene Lamps
January 25, 2021 to October 2021  

The exhibition will highlight over 50 glass and ceramic whale oil and kerosene lamps, spills, and match holders from the permanent collection and Iowa Quester Glass Collection. The exhibition will explore the history of whale oil and kerosene lamps, innovations and designs in lamp manufacturing, and reveal the history of illumination at the Farm House Museum.

The exhibition will be curated by 2020 Farm House Museum student interns. The exhibition objects are generous donations of James Jung, Julius Black, Ann and Henry Brunnier, Avis Andre, Neva Petersen estate, Marian Daniells, F. Wendell Miller estate, Robert Wright estate, Demaris Pease estate, Eleanor McKee, Bertha and Edward Waldee estate, and many others.

Yuletide 2021: Hearth and Home
November to December 2021

The holidays are a time of celebration, goodwill, family and togetherness. The Victorian Era popularized some of the most treasured holiday traditions - stockings hung by the fire, decorated trees, gift-giving, holiday cards, feasts of seasonal foods, and caroling. In the Victorian Era on Iowa State’s campus, these seasonal activities took place in the home. The Farm House Museum, at 160 years old, hosted many gatherings during the holidays spreading goodwill and cheer among the students, faculty and staff. The importance of the fireplace, or hearth, the ongoing importance of “home” during the holidays for the residents of the Farm House, and the influences of the Victorian traditions will be celebrated in the Yuletide 2021: Hearth & Home exhibition. This year’s Yuletide exhibition will feature stockings hung by the fire, first popularized in 1870s Victorian Europe, holiday décor, and the scents and sounds of the season.

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