For immediate release March 01, 2013
Contact: Jeff Morgan, Jeff.Morgan@iowa.gov, (515) 281-3858
Visit the State Historical Museum of Iowa for art, activities, programs and more
(DES MOINES) – The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs invites Iowans and visitors to the State Historical Museum of Iowa this month to enjoy a wide variety of programs and activities.
Beginning today, the Museum is celebrating March with a display of student art; a statewide Poetry Out Loud competition; and numerous opportunities for families and children to engage in educational and entertaining art and history activities.
The month also offers visitors a once-in-a-life-time opportunity to meet Benjamin Victor, the artist commissioned to create a statue of Norman Borlaug for the U.S. Capitol Building. During his two-week artist-in-residency March 18-31, 2013, Victor will interact with Museum visitors and work on the Borlaug statue.
Following is a list of exhibits and programs being highlighted this month at the State Historical Museum of Iowa:
Exhibits – Ongoing
The State Historical Museum opened four new exhibits during the past year with topics ranging from Iowans in the Civil War; preservation and conservation of artifacts; cultural and historical amenities in Iowa’s 99 counties; and 25 artifacts from the Museum’s permanent collection.
In addition, the State Historical Museum offers tours of its permanent collection, which is held in a climate-controlled “vault” beneath the State Historical Building. To schedule a tour, contact Sarah Macht at 515-242-5193.
Youth Art Month – March 1-31
The winning entries in a statewide art competition involving Iowa students will be on display this month at the State Historical Museum. Sponsored by Arts Educators of Iowa with support from DCA, the competition showcases works by Iowa students in grades K-12.
Poetry Out Loud – March 3
The Iowa Arts Council presents the 2013 Poetry Out Loud State Finals. Students compete for a state championship and an opportunity to represent Iowa at the 2013 Poetry Out Loud national competition in Washington, D.C. More than 1,500 Iowa students competed at classroom and school levels this year, and more than 365,000 students across the country competed in the program last year.
Celebrate Childhood Memories – March 18-22
Following is a list of free programs appropriate for youth and families:
Artist-in-Residence Benjamin Victor – March 18-31
The Dr. Norman E. Borlaug Statue Committee has invited artist Ben Victor to be on-site at the State Historical Museum as an “artist-in-residence” for two weeks, which coincide with Spring Break and Borlaug’s 99th birthday on March 25, 2013.
The Borlaug Committee commissioned Victor to create and install a statue of Borlaug into the U.S. Capitol Building in 2014. Each state is represented by statues of two notable citizens. The Borlaug statue will replace one of Sen. James Harlan. The other statue representing Iowa is of Gov. Samuel Kirkwood. During his residency, Victor will work on the statue and interact with guests and visitors daily.
The Dr. Norman E. Borlaug Statue Committee selected Victor after conducting a world-wide artist search that reflected the global impact of Borlaug’s life and career. The statue is expected to be completed and installed in the U.S. Capitol on March 25, 2014, the 100th anniversary of Borlaug’s birth. Borlaug’s work is credited for saving a billion lives through his development of wheat. His achievements earned him recognition as Father of the Green Revolution and the distinction of receiving the Nobel Peace Prize and the Congressional Gold Medal, America’s highest civilian honor.
State Archives & Library Reading Room – 12:30-4:30 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday and 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday
The State Archives & Library offer a treasure trove of photographs, manuscripts and other documents for visitors pursuing academic research, genealogy and other interests. Library/archives reference staff provides assistance to visitors by directing them to pertinent collection guides, recommending sources of information, retrieving requested materials and filling some reproduction orders of original materials.
Café Baratta’s – Open 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Saturday
Enjoy a panoramic view of downtown Des Moines and the Capitol Building from Café Baratta’s third-floor terrace café. Customers enjoy a seasonal menu with classic bistro fare.
The State Historical Museum, the State Archives & Library Reading Room and Café Baratta’s are located at the State Historical Building, 600 E. Locust Street in Des Moines. Museum hours are 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday; noon-4:30 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. For more information, call 515-281-5111 or visit www.culturalaffairs.org or www.iowahistory.org.