Second Floor Gallery
Oct. 4, 2013 - Jan. 31, 2014
Making its North American debut at the State Historical Museum of Iowa, this traveling exhibition featuring works of 25 contemporary quilters from the United States – including two from Iowa. Des Moines is the only city in the United States to host the exhibition in its entirety. It was originally developed as a cross-cultural exchange to introduce the people of China to American culture through a shared love of textile arts, using quiltmaking as a metaphor for the rich diversity of American society.
This exhibition has been touring major cultural institutions in China since 2012, and it’s installation in Des Moines includes additional information about the state of Iowa’s unique and ongoing relationship with China, along with quilts from the State Historical Museum’s collection that represent Iowa’s contribution to quilting.
The Sum of Many Parts: 25 Quiltmakers from 21st-Century America is a program conceived and sponsored by the United States Embassy-Beijing. The exhibition and its tour throughout the People’s Republic of China was jointly developed and managed by Arts Midwest and South Arts, with additional assistance from the Great Lakes Quilt Center at Michigan State University.
Partial funding provided by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Additional support from Rhoda A. Pierce, Alabama State Council on the Arts, Illinois Arts Council, Illinois Office of Trade and Investment, Iowa Arts Council, Kentucky Arts Council, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Mississippi Arts Commission, North Dakota Council on the Arts, Ohio Arts Council, and South Dakota Arts Council. The exhibition’s presentation in Iowa has been made possible by the Iowa Arts Council and State Historical Museum of Iowa.
Second Floor Gallery
Featuring nearly 100 artifacts selected from the State Historical Museum’s subterranean, climate-controlled collections storage facility, this 2,300-square-foot exhibition showcases a wide variety of objects from the museum’s permanent collection – papers, metals/silver, clay pottery/stoneware, natural history specimens, wood furniture and more – in various stages of conservation treatment.
Visitors can watch a museum conservator work on a 1927 piano from Des Moines’ Orpheum Theatre, learn the differences between “restoration” and “stabilization,” and discover why some artifacts are best left untouched, including the pot used to make “Big Daddy’s” barbecue sauce.
First Floor Gallery
With more than 300 authentic artifacts and documents, this 10,000 square-foot exhibition recounts the first-hand experiences of Iowans at war and the communities that supported them. See the historic battle flags Iowa soldiers carried and the actual weaponry – cannons, guns and swords – they used while fighting in some of the most important events and turning points of the Civil War.
Click here for exhibit page.
This display has been temporarily removed for conservation. Watch for its return to the 2nd Floor Gallery at the end of June, 2013.
This 40-piece silver service was presented by Iowa to the U.S. Navy in 1896 for the then newly-commissioned USS Iowa battleship.
3rd floor west
Model building is a popular pastime for many people. See some rare, fine examples of models including ships, buildings and steam powered engines.