Skip to main content
ISU University Museums
Main Content

Upcoming Exhibitions

Brunnier Art Museum                    

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 
Ann Brunnier Decorative Arts Gallery                                                  

John Buck: Prints and Sculptures
From the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundations
August 22 – December 18, 2022

John Buck (American, born 1946) is a nationally recognized Montana artist who has created a large and powerful body of woodblock prints and wood sculptures over the past four decades. Drawn from the collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation, this major exhibition features 30 prints and 8 sculpture that span a forty-year period.

Born in Ames, Iowa in 1948, John Buck earned his BFA degree from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1968 and his MFA degree at the University of California, Davis in 1972, where he studied with artists Robert Arneson, Roy DeForest, Manuel Neri, and William T. Wiley. A virtuoso draftsman and imaginative sculptor, Buck explores national and global issues in sophisticated works of art that are imbued with complex iconography and often layered with multiple meanings.

Buck’s art demonstrates an exceptional insight and perspective on the social and political realities of the day. It often explores the enormity and complexity of conflict, yet his figures are whimsical and resilient. Buck manages to make provocative “issues” art, treating the conflict seriously, while his combination of symbols and figures display a sense of humor, and therefore an optimistic balance.

Over the years, Buck has become fascinated with the cultural imagery surrounding his homes in Montana and Hawaii, current events, popular culture, and the irony and humor found in world history and this collected visual vocabulary is woven throughout his printed and sculptural work.


The Iowa Quester Glass Collection
August 2022 – July 2023         
Ann Brunnier Decorative Arts Gallery    

Christian Petersen Art Museum

Campbell Gallery (first floor - 1017)



Reiman Art Gallery (lower level - 003)

reACT Exhibition Series: Color Matters
September 27- October 29, 2021
Guest Curated by Dr. Jonathan Sturm, Professor of Music

As much as any single thing, color literally “colors” our perception of the world. We identify so much of our world via color that, without it, meaning would virtually cease. Colors define out natural spaces—from blue oceans or grey skies, to green forests or tan deserts, to sunsets, seasons, temperatures, and rainbows. Colors also define our created world, identifying our moods, marketed brands, political parties, university pride, and national movements. The eye transmits colors, but it is the brain that sees them, and because of lived experiences across a lifetime, it has no choice but to add interpretation to every instance of color it experiences. Engage with artwork from the permanent collection that explores how humans experience color.                                                                               

Critical Conversations with Art Exhibition Series: Spotlight on Sussman
March 28- April 29, 2022

In the Critical Conversation with Art exhibition series a single work of art is highlighted to delve deeply into how we look and how we can develop critical thought, questioning and discussion through art. With multiple perspectives, backgrounds and ways of looking presented, this exhibition invites you to examine closely and think deeply in response to the visual world. This exhibition's focus will be La Llareta #0308-2B31 (3,000+ years old; Atacama Desert, Chile) by Rachel Sussman. The large scale photographs provides a rich array of possibilities for interpretation and analysis.  A group of faculty from diverse disciplines have offered entrance into these different lenses and expressed the multiplicity of ways to look at a significant work of art. You are encouraged to spend time with the photograph, read the various interpretations and challenge yourself to discover more, question further and think deeply.

Farm House Museum

Yuletide 2021: Hearth and Home
November 4 to December 15, 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.

Arts & Craftsman: Simplicity, honesty, and truth to materials
Jan. 31 – October 2022

In the busy years after the American Industrial Revolution (1880-1920), household goods, furniture, and decorative arts were easily replicated, mass produced, and sold to consumers. Gone was the added benefit that a product was handmade or created in a shop by skilled artisans. This marks the dawn of machine-fabricated goods, often economically made and of a far lesser quality, to meet the continuously growing demand. As a result, there was a desire to break free from this new mold of inexpensively made products in an effort to bring back the handcrafted quality of decades previous, to return to the aesthetic honesty of pre-Industrial design. Backed by a new philosophy and simplified designs, these artisans, studios, and companies used a new Modern Style embracing a type of renaissance with inspirations from medieval, romantic, and folk-art styles of decoration. Prominent thinkers, artists, craftsman and companies included: theorist John Ruskin, designers William Morris and Charles Eastlake; architect Frank Lloyd Wright, furniture designer Gustav Stickley; Tiffany Studios; the ceramic studios of Pewabic, Rookwood, Newcomb and Weller; and the Roycrofter reformist community of craft workers and artists based in East Aurora, New York.

Flourishing in Europe by the 1860s, and reaching international popularity in the decades that followed, the first official American Arts and Crafts Exhibition took place on April 5, 1897. Held in Boston, it ignited the passions of others in this country to embrace these new styles and wares. In this seminal exhibition of the Arts and Crafts style, over half of the objects were made and designed by women, united in a male-dominated field by the joy of craftsmanship. This exhibition led to the founding of The Society of Arts and Crafts (SAC) on June 28, 1897, with a mission to “develop and encourage higher standards in the handicrafts.” In the Midwest, Chicago’s Arts and Crafts Society began at Hull House in October 1897, followed by the establishment of societies in Minneapolis, MN and other urban cities and rural towns. From coast to coast, examples of the American Arts and Crafts Movement can be found in architecture, works of art, literature, furniture, glass, ceramics, wallpapers, metalwork, textiles and other handcrafted wares.

Experience the Arts and Crafts Movement through a selection of furniture and decorative arts at the Farm House Museum appropriate to the Dean Charles Curtiss years of residence (1897-1947). The exhibition includes examples of lighting, pottery, furniture, glass, metalwork and books that highlight the craftsmanship and dedication to simplicity and materials that the movement is most celebrated for. 

Yuletide 2022: Merry and Bright
Nov. 3 – Dec. 16, 2022

© 2021 University Museums, Iowa State University. All rights reserved.