Art, Galleries & Museums
ANNOUNCING ART TALK PROGRAM TO COORDINATE WITH MUSCATINE ART CENTER EXTHIBITION The Art of Living Well, Third Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 5:30 p.m. on artist, Marvin Cone PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Lynn Bartenhagen   
Thursday, 01 May 2014 15:41

Marvin Cone: Quiet Integrity art talk will be given on the third Thursday, May 15, at 5:30 p.m. at Muscatine Art Center. The program will provide information about the life of Marvin Cone, including his long friendship with Grant Wood. The two met in high school, traveled to Paris, attended the Art Institute of Chicago, and joined forces in the summer of 1932 and 1933 to create Stone City Art Colony. As people they were opposites and each followed a different path, but they did influence each other.

Cone and Wood were both active in the Cedar Rapids Art Association, one of the oldest art organizations in Iowa, which later becomes the Cedar Rapids Art Museum. The program will include the history of the association and many images from the Muscatine Art Center, Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, Coe College and Figge Art Museum  The cultural environment of Cedar Rapids provided both Cone and Wood with exposure to well known artists and the inspiration to become artists.

Marvin Cone lived in Cedar Rapids, married, raised a family, and taught at Coe College. Although, he does not have the fame of Grant Wood, it is clear that he was a skilled artist and an important figure in American painting.

After graduating from Coe College with liberal arts degree, he attended the Art Institute of Chicago with Grant Wood. Both joined the army during World War I. Because Marvin Cone could speak French, he was selected to attend the University of Montpellier, France, in February of 1919 before returning home. Marvin returned to Cedar Rapids to teach French at Coe College. The following summer Cone and Wood traveled to Paris, London, Liverpool, and Antwerp. Both painted in the Impressionistic style and held an exhibition of their artworks on the ship as they return to Cedar Rapids.

On the same return trip home, Grant Wood introduced Marvin to Winnifred Swift whom Marvin married in 1921. Winifred and Marvin had one daughter, Doris.

During the 1920s, Cone's activities included starting the art department at Coe College and keeping an active schedule of exhibitions with the Cedar Rapids Art Association. At the time, Cedar Rapids was a thriving atmosphere for the arts and in 1928, the American Federation of Arts and Carnegie Foundation provided a $50,000 grant to open The Little Gallery, and Edward Rowan was hired as a trained museum administrator. Rowan arranged for Cone and his wife to go back to Paris in 1929. In 1930, Grant Wood, received the Art Institute award for American Gothic and became famous.

1932, Marvin Cone and Grant Wood taught at the Stone City Colony and Art School. Background information and images of the Stone City Colony are included in the program. Courses at the Stone City Colony were accredited by Coe College. Unfortunately, the Depression caused the Colony to close after two summers. Grant Wood went on to teach at the University of Iowa, while Cone was appointed professor of painting at Coe College.

The art talk will take you through Marvin Cone’s styles: landscapes, haunting interiors, barns, circus scenes, and finally abstract images. Unlike artists associated with regionalist and American scene painting of the 1930s, Marvin Cone would integrate his firsthand observation and move from realism to abstraction. Cone's work includes more than rural Midwest scenes.

On May 18, 1965, Marvin Cone died. As a tribute to his forty years of teaching, Coe College established the Marvin Cone Collection and the Marvin Cone Alumni collection with his artwork on display. The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art provided images for the program as the museum has one of the largest collection of Marvin Cone’s works in the United States.


Free Brucemore Mansion Tours During Iowa Museum Week PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Tara Richards   
Thursday, 01 May 2014 08:01

Participate in Iowa Museum Week—June 10 through 15—by enjoying a free tour of Brucemore. Follow a guide on a tour of the 21-room mansion and investigate the art, furnishings, technology, architecture, surrounding landscape, and stories preserved at Brucemore. Tours will be offered every thirty minutes Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 3:00 p.m. The last tour will begin at 3:00 p.m.  Free tours during Iowa Museum Week are sponsored by Cedar Rapids Bank and Trust.

Three families owned the Brucemore estate between 1884 and 1981—the Sinclairs, the Douglases, and the Halls. They were business and community leaders during a century of evolution in the Midwest. Caroline Sinclair, widow of pioneer industrialist, T.M. Sinclair, and mother of six, hired architects Josselyn and Taylor to build the mansion for $55,000 in 1884. In 1906, George Bruce Douglas, of the Quaker Oats and Douglas and Company fortunes, acquired the home with his wife Irene, transforming the property into a country estate they named Brucemore. In 1937, their daughter, Margaret, inherited Brucemore with her husband, Howard Hall, founder of Iowa Manufacturing and Iowa Steel and Ironworks. The Halls added flair to the estate with famous guests, including Presidents Herbert Hoover and Harry Truman and their exotic pet lion. The Queen Anne architecture, 1925 Grant Wood Porch, 1929 Skinner pipe organ, and 1930s Grizzly Bar and Tahitian Room reflect the vibrant history of remarkable people.  The changes they made to their estate, the impact they had on their community, and the stories they left behind shape our understanding of modern Cedar Rapids, eastern Iowa, and the American Midwest.

Iowa Museum Week annually raises awareness of the significant contributions made to Iowa communities by their museums in relation to quality of life, economic life, tourism, and education.  In his proclamation of Iowa Museum Week in April, Governor Branstad recognized the importance of Iowa’s museums, stating that Iowa Museum Week will celebrate the crucial role of Iowa’s museums in preserving the historical fabric and memory of Iowa through preservation of artifacts and archives; in providing educational resources and programs which expand learning opportunities for all ages; in contributing to a vibrant community and state economy through job creation, purchase of goods and services, and by attracting tourism revenue to the community and state; and in their significant role in enhancing community quality of life. For more information on Iowa museums, please visit or contact Cynthia Sweet of the Iowa Museum Association at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


About Brucemore

Experience Brucemore, an unparalleled blend of tradition and culture, located at 2160 Linden Drive SE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. At the heart of the historic 26-acre estate stands a nineteenth-century mansion filled with the stories of three Cedar Rapids families.  Concerts, theater, programs, and tours enliven the site and celebrate the heritage of a community.  For more information, call (319) 362-7375 or visit


Notice of Annual Meeting Wednesday, May 7th 5pm PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by G A H C   
Wednesday, 30 April 2014 08:33

German American Heritage Center members are invited to join us for our 2014 Annual Meeting on Wednesday, May 7th at 5pm in our 4th floor meeting room. Organizational information will be presented as well as the voting in of new Board of Directors members.

Please support our efforts and come participate in this process!

Your membership entitles you to attend Annual Meetings. If you are not a member, join by visiting:

Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre at the Muscatine Art Center PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Lynn Bartenhagen   
Tuesday, 29 April 2014 13:22



“Stories and Cuentos”, a puppet show presented in both English and Spanish by Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre, will offered for FREE on Thursday, May 8, at 5:30 p.m. on the grounds of the Muscatine Art Center. The public is encouraged to bring blankets and/or lawn chairs as the performance will be held in the E. Bradford Burns Performing Arts Park (just west of the Musser House on Mulberry). In case of rain, the performance will be moved to Central Auditorium.

Developed and performed by Monica Leo and Mexican puppeteer Eli Portugal, co-founder of Mojiganga Arte Escenico, this performance includes two classic Mexican animal tales. “The Rabbit in the Moon”, a well-known myth, gives a whimsical explanation for the shadows we see in the moon, while delighting audiences with the age old battle of wits between rabbit and coyote. “The Musical Ant”, a less known tale, follows Hormiguita (little ant) as he learns to play the piano and brings peace to his ant colony through music. The production uses hand puppets, rod puppets, masked characters, and music.

Monica Leo has been creating and performing as founder and principal puppeteer of Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre since 1975. Eulenspiegel has toured in 28 states and four other countries and is a former winner of the Iowa Arts Award. Eli Portugal of Jalapa, Mexico, studied music, theatre, and dance at the University of Veracruz in Mexico. In addition to her performance and design skills, she has extensive experience teaching workshops to children as well as to teachers.

Reservations are not required to attend the puppet performance.


Niabi Zoo Announces Earth Day Event PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Marc Heinzman   
Thursday, 24 April 2014 14:48
Coal Valley, IL – April 24, 2014 – Niabi Zoo announced today that it will be holding its annual Earth Day Celebration on Sunday, April 27. The event, which will be held from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM at the Zoo, will feature a variety of activities and information to help both kids and adults alike learn how they can make every day Earth Day.

Niabi Zoo’s Earth Day Celebration will feature a variety of themed games for kids and adults alike, which will teach Zoo guests about conservation and making environmentally responsible choices while still being fun and engaging. “Major components of Niabi Zoo’s mission are conservation leadership and engaging educational experiences,” said zoo director Marc Heinzman. “Niabi Zoo’s Earth Day Celebration provides a fun and engaging experience for the community to learn how they can help protect this amazing world.” Several other organizations will be part of the Earth Day Celebration, including the Quad City Audubon Society and the Master Gardener/Naturalists.

Niabi Zoo will be open from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Regular admission rates will apply.

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