Art, Galleries & Museums
New Exhibition at the Muscatine Art Center PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Lynn Bartenhagen   
Tuesday, 16 October 2012 08:53

The Muscatine Art Center is pleased to announce the return of artist Steve Gerberich with a new exhibit entitled "Holiday Springs & Sprockets".  Visitors may remember Gerberich's 2010 exhibit at the Muscatine Art Center, "Springs Sprockets & Pulleys" that broke attendance records with his masterful transformation of ordinary objects into inventive and witty mechanical sculpture.

Featuring five large-scale holiday-themed sculptures and installations, Holiday Springs & Sprockets explores scientific principles using everything from teapots to tin cans to fashion a world of blinking lights, moving parts and quirky scenarios. "This industrial strength exhibit will unite the youngest at heart with fond memories of old Americana - kitchen appliances associated with holiday traditions," says Gerberich. With a touch of a button visitors bring to life the whirling motions of assembly line automation. The Cookie Workshop shuttles cookies in and out of the oven while keeping two automatons busy washing loads of dirty dishes. An early 20th century vertical drill press is put to good use creating candy canes in the Candy Cane Assembly Plant, while Santa and his Exercycle Reindeer are propelled across the gallery by exercise bikes.

This holiday-themed installation made its debut at New York's Bloomingdale's and has been featured on The Today Show and NBC Nightly News.

Holiday Springs & Sprockets is on view October 21, 2012 through January 6, 2013. The Friends of the Muscatine Art Center will host a free public reception on Sunday, October 21 from 1 to 5 pm where visitors will meet artist Steve Gerberich and enjoy the exhibit with family and friends.

The Muscatine Art Center is open to the public Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 AM to 5 PM, Thursday from 10 AM to 7 PM and Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 PM. Admission is FREE.

Press Release from the Muscatine Art Center PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Lynn Bartenhagen   
Monday, 15 October 2012 14:43

The public is invited to join the Muscatine Art Center in welcoming Carol Ehlers, art history speaker, as she presents a 45 minute lecture on the art of Pablo Picasso. The lecture will take place Thursday, October 18 at 5:30 pm in the Muscatine Art Center’s Music Room. Admission is free.

Pablo Picasso was a Spanish artist who spent most of his adult life in France. He is widely known for co-founding the Cubist movement, the invention of constructed sculpture, and the co-invention of collage. He is commonly regarded as one of the artists responsible for significant developments in paintings, sculpture, printmaking and ceramics in the early 20th century.

Pablo Picasso was born October 25, 1881 in Málaga, Spain, the first child to a middle-class family. At age 16, Picasso set off for the first time on his own in Madrid, but he disliked formal instruction and quit attending classes soon after enrolling at the Royal Academy of San Fernando. While in Madrid, Picasso especially admired the works of great masters such as        El Greco whose paintings had a great influence on him. Elements of El Greco’s paintings, such as elongated limbs, stunning colors and mystical qualities are echoed in Picasso’s later work.

Picasso’s work is often categorized into periods. The most commonly accepted periods in his work are the Blue Period (1901–1904), the Rose Period (1904-1906), the African-influenced Period (1908–1909), Analytic Cubism (1909–1912), and Synthetic Cubism (1912–1919). In 1937 during a later period considered by many to be a return to classical ideals, Picasso painted Guernica, which would become one of his most notable works.

Picasso’s final works were a mixture of styles and mediums and were more colorful and expressive than his earlier works. It was only after Picasso’s death that the critical art community came to see that Picasso was ahead of his time stylistically. Picasso was exceptionally prolific throughout his long lifetime, producing an estimated 50,000 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, ceramics, drawings, prints, and tapestries and rugs. He died April 8, 1973 in Mougins, France at the age of 92.

In 1992 the Muscatine Art Center’s collections were significantly enriched by a gift of twenty-seven works of art by Toulouse-Lautrec, Matisse, Degas, Boudin, Chagall, Renoir, and other European artists. The collection was a gift from the estate of Mary Musser Gilmore in honor of her parents, Richard Drew Musser and Sarah Walker Musser. The paintings are on permanent display in the Laura Musser Mansion.

Genealogy! PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Kelly Lao   
Monday, 08 October 2012 14:51
Genealogy Workshops
with Theresea Liewer
At the German American Heritage Center
Sunday, October 21st

Session One- 12:30-2:00

Naturalization and Passenger Lists

Session Two- 2:30-3:30

Military Records

Pre-registration Required. $10 per session for members, $15 per session for non-members.

Join us for these fantastic workshops presented by an expert in the field of genealogy! Theresa Liewer has been a member of the Iowa Genealogical Society for over  35 years, is a past president, and teaches classes there on a volunteer basis.

She'll take you on a step by-step journey through the naturalization process in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the records that are created, and where they can be found. She'll also discuss immigration records where they can be found, with emphasis on online locating tips!  Military record essentials from the Revolutionary War through WW II will be reviewed.


Theresa combines information with just a touch of humor to send you away enthused about finding your family records!

Special Guest at the Putnam! PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Jenna Smith   
Wednesday, 03 October 2012 15:22

Animation Cel-ebration – From Gertie to Grinch  Exhibit


Animation Cel-ebration – From Gertie to Grinch features the world renowned animation art cel (individual hand-drawn animation image) collection of Ted and Dawn Hopkins. The Hopkins Collection of Historical Animation Art is one of the top comprehensive collections of rare animation art because of the scope and breadth of its hand drawn historical pieces. Discover how animation developed from its infancy through the classic age of animated features and beyond! Operate some of the earliest animation devices to see how the idea for animated features developed. Sit at a drafting table and learn how to draw your own animation cels or practice animation on a computer art station. Animation educators will staff the exhibit on weekends to demonstrate their craft to the visitors. Revisit your childhood and make new memories with your children and grandchildren! Exhibit hall prices: Adults $7; Senior/Student/ Military $6/Youth $5; Putnam Members free.

Lunch and Learn with Ted and Dawn Hopkins

Ted and Dawn Hopkins will give a Lunch and Learn on Saturday, October 20, where guests will get the opportunity to hear the couple talk about the history of animation through their amazing cel collection.

Cost is $20 per person and includes lunch, program, and a private viewing of the exhibit accompanied by the Hopkins. Lunch will be served at noon on the Lardner Theater Balcony and the program will immediately follow.

Advance reservations and payment are required. Contact Alice Loff at 563-324-1933 ext. 266. Space is limited, so call today!

Edward and Dawn Hopkins

Edward (Ted) and Dawn Fritz Hopkins have graciously loaned a portion of their animation art collection to the Putnam Museum. Ted is an international corporate business leader, fighter pilot, collector of a world class animation art, world traveler, cruise lecturer and one of the best story tellers around. His wife Dawn is an international school teacher, writer, artist, and animal lover who actually raised an orphaned Bobcat cub.

Ted graduated from high school in London, England, attended Purdue University for one year and then graduated from the Air Force Academy in their second graduation class. He has a Masters from Southern California University in Business. He spent six years flying high performance, supersonic jets in the Air Force. His favorite, the 104, is known as the Starfighter. After leaving the Air Force, Ted entered the business world and worked for a number of major companies: General Electric, Gould Industries, Interlake Steel and Sherwin Williams. He retired as Chairman of the board of Medalist Industries, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Dawn graduated from United Township high school in East Moline. She graduated from the University of New Mexico with a degree in Fine Arts and a minor in Anthropology. She taught high school in New Mexico and was the advisor for the girl’s golf team. Wanting to add more adventure to her life, she taught school at American military bases in both France and Germany, where she met her fighter pilot husband.

During his business career, Ted started their collection of animation art quite by accident. On a business trip to Las Vegas thirty years ago, Dawn encouraged him to use his winnings from blackjack to purchase an animation cel of Pepe Le Pew. From then on, he was hooked. Today their collection is in the top five of the world and includes over 350 framed pieces, plus 100s more in bound books.

Since story telling has always been a favorite pastime for Ted, he became a cruise ship lecturer. He has three areas of expertise: Animation Art, Old West History and Supersonic Flight. Dawn is also a story teller of the written word, and has written a book about her baby bobcat, Parthur.


Rose Frantzen’s Portrait of Maquoketa at Figge Art Museum PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Susan Horan   
Tuesday, 02 October 2012 09:24

Davenport, Iowa (October 2012) — The Figge Art Museum is please to announce that on October 27, 2012 the museum will open a new installation of Rose Frantzen’s nationally celebrated Portrait of Maquoketa exhibition.  The new, multi-dimensional installation, entitled Portrait of Maquoketa - The Dimensional View, will include 180 portraits of Maquoketans and a 240 square foot landscape view of Maquoketa. Major funding for this exhibition has been provided by the Riverboat Development Authority, USBank, Dr. Ralph and Jennifer Saintfort and SSAB.

From July 2005 to July 2006, Rose Frantzen democratized portraiture, inviting anyone in her hometown of Maquoketa, Iowa to sit for a portrait painted from life. All 180 oil painting portraits that Frantzen created were displayed at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery from November 6, 2009 through July 5, 2010.  The portraits were accompanied by a narrative sound composition created by Rose’s brother, John Frantzen featuring the voices of those who posed speaking about their lives and about Maquoketa.  The 12x12” head and shoulders portraits were each painted in a four or five hour sitting in a storefront on Main St. that was open to the public.  “I wanted to bring to my community a tangible connection with the creative process,” says Frantzen.  “By making them the subject, I hoped that their interest would be stirred and that they would be touched somehow by what painting can reveal about the human experience.”  With ages ranging from 4 days old to 99 years old, Frantzen captured a beautiful and moving cross-section portrait of her town.

For the Figge Art Museum installation of Portrait of Maquoketa - The Dimensional View, Frantzen is painting a 240 square foot landscape view of Maquoketa from the hills outside town that is broken up on 34 vertical panels suspended from the ceiling.  The other side of each panels acts as a frame for the portraits.  When visitors sit at one end of the exhibition all the sections of the landscape come together and align as one.  From this vantage point, visitors will hear a second voice and music piece composed by John Frantzen.  Press ready images of Ms. Frantzen painting the landscape are available online (  The portraits, the landscape, and the voice/music compositions were funded in part by the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.  The Ceres Trust sponsored the Smithsonian exhibition.

“Although Portrait of Maquoketa has gone places I never imagined,” says Rose, “I have felt from the start a desire to set the portrait of the town into a larger framework, namely the landscape - showing this community nestled within the Iowan countryside.  The opportunity to show in the beautiful and expansive third floor gallery of the Figge compelled me to realize my initial vision.”  The new three-dimensional installation was conceived and designed by Rose in collaboration with her husband, artist Charles Morris, who mapped out the enlargement of Rose’s landscape onto panels that vary in size from three and a half feet tall to over ten feet tall.  The original landscape, which Rose painted on location in the early spring of this year, is transformed to fill a 90 degree view with 30 feet in depth.

Frantzen and Morris are part of a resurgence in Regionalism in Eastern Iowa and are exclusively represented by a gallery that is run by Rose’s parents in the Old City Hall of Maquoketa. features their work, provides further details on the Portrait of Maquoketa project, and offers the hardcover Portrait of Maquoketa book.

The Figge Art Museum exhibition, which runs from October 27th, 2012 to January 20th, 2013 will include a lecture and slideshow by Frantzen at 7pm on November 1st and a portrait painting demonstration by Frantzen on Saturday, November 3rd from 12:30 to 4:30pm.

Rose Frantzen Biographical Information: A native of Maquoketa, Iowa, Rose Frantzen has gained national and international acclaim for her oil paintings from life that bring contemporary and innovative perspectives to a traditional alla prima approach.  In addition to landscapes, still lifes, and figurative works, Frantzen often moves to the allegorical, including abstract or surreal settings that present the subject as an archetypal character seen on his or her own internal stage.  For these multi-dimensional works, she incorporates diverse stylistic elements along with gilding, stained glass, and mosaic.

With a grant from the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, Frantzen completed Portrait of Maquoketa, a yearlong community-oriented project in which she painted any Maquoketa residents willing to sit for a four or five hour session.  All 180 portraits completed for the project were shown at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. from November 6, 2009 to July 5, 2010.  Her work has also shown at the Butler Museum of Art, the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, the Dubuque Museum of Art, the Denver Historical Museum, the World Food Prize, and the Portrait Society of America’s International Portrait Competition.

Frantzen is a frequent guest lecturer and panelist discussing art and the artist’s life in the 21st century at museums and national art conventions.  Her paintings have been featured in numerous national and international art magazines and journals, and she demonstrates portrait painting each year as a faculty member for the Portrait Society of America and for the annual Weekend With the Masters conference.  Frantzen is represented exclusively by Old City Hall Gallery in Maquoketa, Iowa, where she shows with her husband, Charles Morris.

Frantzen studied at the American Academy of Art in Chicago, the Palette & Chisel Academy with Richard Schmid, and at the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, studying anatomy with the late Deane G. Keller.

About the Figge Art Museum

The Figge Art Museum, formerly the Davenport Museum of Art, opened August 6, 2005. The award-winning building designed by architect David Chipperfield holds a collection of approximately 3,500 works that reflect artistic styles and developments from the Renaissance to contemporary art, with particular strengths in American Regionalist, Mexican Colonial, and Haitian art.  The Figge Art Museum is located on the riverfront in downtown Davenport at 225 West Second Street. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, Sundays 12-5 p.m. and Thursdays 10 a.m.- 9p.m. To contact the museum, please call 563.326.7804, or visit our website,

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