Art, Galleries & Museums
Figge Art Museum Major Gift and Gallery Dedication PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Natalie Dunlop   
Friday, 27 June 2014 10:04

Davenport, Iowa (June 25, 2014) – The Figge Art Museum has received a major gift of $500,000 from the estate of Ruth Evelyn Katz gifted by son Marty Katz of Moline in honor of his late parents Isador and Ruth Evelyn Katz and his late sister Judith Katz.

The second floor Print Gallery will be renamed The Katz Gallery gifted in memory of Isador, Ruth Evelyn and Judith Katz by the Katz Family. A private invitation-only dedication will take place on July 3 when 200 guests will gather to honor the extraordinary contributions of the Katz family to the Quad Cities arts community.

“The Katz family is pleased to make this contribution to the Figge Art Museum,” said Marty Katz, son of Isador and Ruth Evelyn. “My parents loved this country and the community. Though they were not immigrants, they were not far removed from the immigrant experience and realized how fortunate they were to have been born in a country which allowed them to prosper, to find their talents and to pursue their aptitudes. What finer date to celebrate this than the birthdate of a nation which gave them that opportunity.”

The $500,000 has been gifted to museum and will be attributed to the endowment of the museum, which according to Director of Development Raelene Pullen, “is the lifeblood of our institution and ensures that the Figge will be here in perpetuity for children and adults in our community to experience. The Katz name and impact on the Quad Cities will always be remembered thanks to their generous contribution.”

“The Katz Gallery is located at the heart of the museum, adjacent to our art studios and the Mary Waterman Gildehaus Community Gallery,” said Figge Executive Director Tim Schiffer. “It hosts some of our most popular and important exhibitions. We are so grateful to the Katz family for helping us to fulfill our mission of ‘bringing art and people together.’”

Grandson Matt Katz added, “It is such an honor for our family to be involved with the Figge. I think it would be an accurate reflection of my grandparents to say that a city without a foundation of arts and culture is merely just a "place". A spot on a map. The arts add a dimension of depth and social integrity to any community. My grandparents were two very different people from extremely different backgrounds.

They had two very different personas, but the one common thread that brought them together was celebrating culture. It is so exciting to know that even though they are not physically involved in the community anymore, that through the Figge they can be involved in spirit.”

Isador and Ruth Evelyn were advocates for the arts dating back to the mid-50s when Ruth Evelyn joined the Rock Island Art Guild. Her Maka Gallery became the first serious art presence in downtown Rock island in 1966 bringing fine arts to the Quad Cities through gifts like the many public sculptures that now are an important part of the Quad Cities’ urban landscape. Ruth Evelyn was devoted to numerous cultural and civic organizations and served as a member of the Acquisitions Commission of the Figge Art Museum and the Davenport Museum of Art, its predecessor.

Isador was a prominent attorney who received an individual award in philanthropy and served on the boards of the Rock Island Public Library Foundation, Rock Island Community Foundation and Trinity Health Foundation.

The two worked very hard to help make the Quad-Cities a more beautiful place through their philanthropic efforts and devotion to bettering the community. Grandson Steven Katz explained, “They believed strongly in the notion of philanthropy and in "giving back" to the community. With the establishment of this gallery it's nice to see them honored for their many contributions to the community. I hope that this gallery will be able to enrich the lives of people in the Quad Cities for many years to come and perhaps even serve as a source of inspiration for future dreamers and artists and offer people new insights and ways of looking at our world. If it does, then I think my grandparents would be very pleased.”

As happy as the family is about this dedication, there is also an element of the bittersweet because this gift is also to celebrate the memory of Judith Katz. Judith was the daughter of Ruth and Isador who passed away on July 3, 1997. Brother Marty Katz said, “My sister was a physically beautiful person but it was surpassed by her intellect and artistic skills. To see her name along with my parents exactly 17 years after her death is going to be very special to our entire family.”

The first exhibition that will be on display in The Katz Gallery will be Two Americans in Paris: Stuart Davis and Grant Wood opening July 12, 2014.


About the Figge Art Museum

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 and Sundays 12-5 p.m. Thursdays the museum is open until 9 p.m. Admission to the museum and tour is $7. Admission is free to Figge members and institutional members and free to all on Thursday evenings from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. The museum is free for Active Duty Military members and their families all year round and free to seniors the first Thursday of every month. To contact the museum, please call 563.326.7804, or visit


Loebsack Welcomes 2014 Congressional Art Contest Winner to Washington PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Vonnie Hampel   
Wednesday, 25 June 2014 13:20

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack today welcomed Brianna Paup, the winner of the 2014 Congressional Art Contest to Washington. Brianna’s drawing, Old Man, was selected in an online competition in which nearly 2,500 votes were cast to determine who would represent Iowa’s Second District in the annual competition. Brianna, who is from Mechanicsville and just completed her Junior year at North Cedar High School, traveled with her mother to Washington to see her art work displayed and attend a reception held in her honor.

“Each year I am more and more impressed by the creativity, ingenuity, and talent of our local high school students and Brianna is no exception. It was a pleasure to welcome Brianna and her mom to Washington. I am glad they had the opportunity to visit our nation’s capital and see her art work displayed.”

Gov. Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynolds announce new blockbuster museum exhibition opening June 27 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Jeff Morgan   
Monday, 16 June 2014 15:43

“Hollywood in the Heartland” explores history of Iowa and Iowans in the movies

Tom Arnold appearance, film series and related programming


(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds were joined at their regular weekly press conference today by Department of Cultural Affairs Director Mary Cownie to announce a blockbuster exhibition, “Hollywood in the Heartland,” will open this month at the State Historical Museum of Iowa. The State Historical Museum is a bureau of the State Historical Society of Iowa, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs. 


“I’m pleased to announce another great exhibit – “Hollywood in the Heartland” – launching at the State Historical Museum,” said Branstad. “Hollywood in the Heartland explores our legacy with the silver screen from the late 1800s to today’s movies and filmmaking and I invite all Iowans to visit the State Historical Museum to see this blockbuster exhibit.”


“I’m excited for this exhibit to open because it offers an opportunity for movie buffs, historians and family members of all ages to learn about Iowa’s connections to the movie industry,” said Reynolds. “This exhibit not only showcases our past, it also points us to the future where new movie and media production technologies are generating more opportunities for creativity, growth and expansion. The Governor and I invite audiences of all ages to come see it beginning on June 27th.”


“Hollywood in the Heartland” is a 6,400 square-foot exhibition that shows how Iowa and Iowans have been portrayed on film, uncovers the beauty of Iowa’s historic theaters and their role in Iowa communities, and the people who have made an impression on-screen and behind the scenes. The exhibition will include distinct areas tracing Iowa’s stage and screen heritage from opera houses and Vaudeville performances to Iowa filmmaking today.


“When it comes to the movies, the best ones capture our common bonds as people,” said Cownie. “This new exhibit reflects the contributions Iowa and Iowans have made in bringing magic to the movies in Hollywood.”


During the press conference, Branstad and Reynolds offered a glimpse at what the exhibit will include, including the Academy Award won by Iowa native Cloris Leachman for Best Supporting Actress in “The Last Picture Show” (1971).


Other artifacts to be on display include:


  • During opening weekend, Donna Reed’s Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in “From Here to Eternity” (1953)
  • A 1933 copy of Phil Stong’s “State Fair” and a ticket from the 1945 World Premiere of “State Fair” in Des Moines.
  • A uniform from “The Music Man” in 1962
  • Props from “Cold Turkey” in 1971
  • A replica 1919 Chicago White Sox uniform from the “Field of Dreams” in 1989
  • And we have a bicycle used by Meryl Streep in “The Bridges of Madison County” in 1995


Personalities included in the exhibit will be novelist Oscar Micheaux, the Blank and Fridley families, and actors from across the state. Featured actors and actresses will include Leachman, Reed, John Wayne and Ashton Kutcher, among many others.


The exhibit will also look at the role of historic theatres in Iowa communities including Fort Madison, Charles City, Missouri Valley, Dubuque, Sioux City, Des Moines and other towns and cities.


“Hollywood in the Heartland” is supported by the State Historical Museum’s exhibit partners Iowa Historical Foundation, Iowa Public Television and Produce Iowa – the State Office of Media Production and exhibit sponsors Bravo Greater Des Moines, Humanities Iowa and the Fred Maytag Family Foundation.


The schedule of opening weekend programs follows:


Friday, June 27

“Hollywood Backstories with Tom Arnold” presented by Produce Iowa

10 a.m.  – FREE

Join Iowan Tom Arnold at the State Historical Museum as he kicks off opening day of the new exhibition, Hollywood in the Heartland. Tom will talk about his rise from Ottumwa to Hollywood and everything in between. And as a writer, producer, actor and comedian, he has a lot of stories to tell. Tom has been in over 120 film and television projects including True Lies, Nine Months, and Mike Myers’ documentary released this month, Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon. In addition to hosting CMT's top-rated My Big Redneck franchise, Tom has also been on a comedy stand-up tour throughout the US over the past year, and we are excited to welcome him back to Des Moines.


Exhibit Tour with Museum Staff

1 and 3 p.m. – FREE

Experience “Hollywood in the Heartland” with a free guided tour from State Historical Museum staff.


Music Man Matinee – FREE

1 p.m. – Doors open

1:15 p.m. – Discussion

1:30 p.m. – Movie

Attend a short preview discussion and a screening of “The Music Man” (2 hrs, 55 min). Question and Answer session to follow movie.


Saturday, June 28

Exhibit Tour with Museum Staff

10 a.m. and 1 p.m. – FREE

Experience “Hollywood in the Heartland” with a free guided tour from State Historical Museum staff.


Iowa’s Opera Houses and Movie Theatres

11 a.m. – FREE

Iowa has the full range of historic entertainment venues from opera houses located in small towns across the state to the grand movie palaces in our largest cities. This presentation from Historian Ralph Christian and Architectural Historian Paula Mohr of the State Historic Preservation Office will tell the fascinating story of how and where Iowans enjoyed various forms of entertainment from early settlement to the multiplexes of today.


Children’s Activities

11 a.m.-2 p.m. – FREE

Make flipbooks, storyboards, and movie posters and decorating stars.


Adam Van Wyk

2 p.m. – FREE

Adam Van Wyk will talk about animated films. Van Wyk worked on “Despicable Me,” “Despicable Me 2” and “Ice Age,” among others, and is a Des Moines-based voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.


Iowa Stars Trivia Game

3:30 p.m. – FREE

Find the Iowa stars in the new exhibit and answer questions.


Sunday, June 29

Exhibit Tour with Museum Staff

1 p.m. – FREE

Experience “Hollywood in the Heartland” with a free guided tour from State Historical Museum staff.


19th Century Projected Entertainment (Humanities Iowa)

2:30-4 p.m. – FREE

Join Michael Zahs as he shows some of the world’s oldest films known to exist. The films were originally shown by Frank and Indiana Brinton in small town opera houses or at Chautauqua gatherings. Some of their magic lantern slides and early movie presentations will be part of Zahs discussion. See story from USA Today.


All events are at the State Historical Museum, 600 E. Locust Street in Des Moines. Visit or call 515-281-5111 for more information.



Summer Camps are filling up fast - don't miss out! PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Putnam Museum   
Monday, 16 June 2014 15:42

Fee: $35/ $31.50 Members


Xpress Urself I

Grades 4-6, June 30, 9am - 4pm

Create, explore and connect using technologies like 3D printing and robotics
in the Putnam's NEW Fab Lab!


Xpress Urself II

Grades 7-8, July 1, 9am - 4pm

Create, explore and connect using technologies like 3D printing and robotics
in the Putnam's NEW Fab Lab!


No Boys Allowed! (Science for Girls)

Grades 6-8, July 2, 9am - 4pm

Grab your best girlfriends and leave the boys behind as we spend the day experiencing science
our own way. Dive in, discover and discuss your way through all things science!


Engineering Kids Camp

Fee: $40. Choose one of the following days:
July 21 or 22 for Grades 4 - 6
July 24 for GIRLS ONLY grades 4 - 8
July 25 for Grades 7-8
Back by popular demand - Don't miss this opportunity to create and learn side by side Iowa State college students and Professional Engineers. Explore robotics, test your engineering problem-solving and even take in a giant screen film. Lunch and t-shirt included in this special camp!
Sponsored in-part by: Iowa State University College of Engineering and Quad City Engineering and Science Council.





Fee: $160/ $150 Members

CS Eye-Spy, Grades 3 - 5
June 16-20, 9am - 4pm


Fee: $85/ $76.50 Members

Be Sense-ible!

July 14-18, 1pm - 4pm

What can you learn from your 5 senses? Join us for this mystery-solving week where touch, sight, sound, taste and smell crack the code. It'll be sense-sational!

Bug Bonanza!

July 28-August 1, 9am - noon

Explore your A, BEE, Cs in this week dedicated to learning about our insect friends. Discover millions of butterflies on the giant screen, race a real Madagascar cockroach and spin a web any spider would be envious of. It'll be a bug's life at the Putnam!


Astronaut Training Camp

July 28 - August 1, 1pm - 4pm

Learn what it takes to make it to space! Challenge your body and your mind with hands-on NASA-style training made perfect for our youngest campers. We'll have a blast during this camp!

1717 W 12th Street | Davenport, IA | (563) 324-1933 |

Governor Quinn Announces $20 Million Investment in Illinois’ Public Museums PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Dave Blanchette   
Monday, 16 June 2014 15:37

Illinois Jobs Now! Funding Will Help 47 Museums Improve Their Facilities and Develop New Exhibits

CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today announced that 47 Illinois museums that attract 16.5 million visitors annually will receive $20 million in state capital investments to improve their facilities and develop new exhibits. The investments are through Governor Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! construction program, and are part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to create jobs and drive Illinois’ economy forward.

“Museums play a vital role in telling us about our world and who we are, where we’ve been and where we’re going,” Governor Quinn said. “These investments will help museums attract even more visitors, boost tourism, create hundreds of jobs and help preserve our history for generations to come.”

The projects are part of the Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Program, administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR).The program was open to any museum operated by local governments or located on municipally owned land. The maximum grant award was $750,000 and matching funds were required in many cases based on the museum attendance levels from the previous year. Two years ago the Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Program awarded $15 million to 49 museums for projects ranging from expanded facilities to exhibits and infrastructure improvements.

“Museums, like other natural and cultural facilities, improve local economies throughout the state,” DNR Director Marc Miller said. “These places can become the backbone of a strong social structure within our communities and I applaud Governor Quinn for recognizing the importance of investing in museums so they can be enjoyed and educate current and future generations.”

The museum grants are part of Governor Quinn’s $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! program, which will support more than 439,000 jobs over six years. Illinois Jobs Now! is the largest construction program in Illinois history, and is one of the largest construction programs in the nation.

A list of the 2014 Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Program awards follows:

Champaign County

  • Museum of the Grand Prairie, $238,200 to demolish an existing structure and create a new climate controlled addition. Total project cost $289,100.
  • Virginia Theatre, $750,000 to design, engineer and install house stage lighting, catwalk, light boxes and sound equipment. Total project cost $750,000.

Cook County

  • Adler Planetarium, $750,000 to help develop a new observation deck including a walkway access point, LED lighting, guard rails and indoor improvements. Total project cost $1.5 million.
  • The Art Institute of Chicago, $750,000 to replace climate control systems, tuckpointing, waterproofing and a new security system. Total project cost $2.25 million.
  • Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, $750,000 to develop, design and construct a new exhibit and resource center about sustainable living practices and green technology. Total project cost $750,000.
  • Chicago Botanic Garden, $750,000 for architectural and engineering design work on a new Education Center. Total project cost $16.3 million.
  • Chicago Children’s Museum, $22,500 to convert gallery space from a permanent exhibit space to a short run exhibit and educational programming space. Total project cost $45,000.
  • Chicago History Museum, $750,000 for gallery renovations including new lighting, acoustics, restrooms, vestibules, climate control and a lighted floor map. Total project cost $1.25 million.
  • Brookfield Zoo, $750,000 for four restroom upgrades. Total project cost $2.25 million.
  • DuSable Museum of African American History, $750,000 to enhance the lobby including new doors, roof repairs, downspouts, flashing, gutters and insulation. Total project cost $750,000.
  • Field Museum of Natural History, $750,000 to purchase and install a new air handling unit and ductwork to service the southwest quadrant of the museum. Total project cost $2.25 million.
  • Garfield Park Conservatory, $750,000 to create a multi-tiered structure with tropical plantings, interactive seating, an exhibit observation area, nature sorting station, pathways and “secret spaces.” Total project cost $3.3 million.
  • The Grove, Glenview, $80,500 to expand archival storage space including a work space and teaching area. Total project cost $130,000.
  • Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest, $70,100 for exterior restoration and rehabilitation of Cicero Firehouse Number 2 that will become the new museum and history center. Total project cost $291,300.
  • Lincoln Park Zoo, $750,000 to help construct an exhibit. Total project cost $3.1 million.
  • Museum of Science & Industry, $750,000 to reconstruct the upper and lower portions of the North Wall of the Central Pavilion. Total project cost $2.25 million.
  • Oak Park Observatory, $146,000 to develop an interactive outdoor display garden with programmed educational experiences. Total project cost $196,000.
  • Wildwood Nature Center, Park Ridge, $225,000 for new exhibits and interpretive signs, a new kiosk and map, ADA accessible trails, and an open air shelter. Total project cost $253,000.
  • Shedd Aquarium, $750,000 to protect and stabilize the building exterior. Total project cost $2.25 million.

DeKalb County

  • Ellwood House Museum, $126,400 to replace the roof and large terrace tile, including foundation pier rebuilding, tile beds and ADA platform lift. Total project cost $126,400.

DuPage County

  • Fischer Farm, Bensenville Park District, $108,200 to restore a pre-Civil War storage barn and hen house. Total project cost $108,200.
  • Downers Grove Park District Museum, $135,000 to restore an Underground Railroad stopover including interior work and exhibit creation. Total project cost $226,000.
  • DuPage Children’s Museum, $240,200 to develop an active wet area in the Dynamic Tables exhibit showing the weight and power of moving water to harness energy. Total project cost $1.29 million.
  • Mayslake Peabody Estate, DuPage County Forest Preserve District, $215,000 to restore the outside back courtyard elevation of Mayslake Hall. Total project cost $525,500.
  • Springbrook Nature Center Museum, Itasca, $335,000 to replace three climate control units, water heater, siding, roofing, insulation, upgrade ADA accessibility and outdoor signs. Total project cost $487,500.
  • Naper Settlement, Naperville, $629,200 to replace the electrical grid on the 12-acre museum campus. Total project cost $670,700.
  • DuPage County Historical Museum, Wheaton, $600,800 to replace roof with accurate red slate roofing, tuckpointing and copper gutter replacement. Total project cost $625,800.

Jersey County

  • City of Grafton Museum. $640,000 to add a 1550-square-foot addition to the existing Visitor Center. Total project cost $650,000.

Kane County

  • Grand Army of the Republic Memorial, Aurora, $750,000 for cabinetry restoration, woodwork and floor finishing, partition walls, lighting, climate control and emergency systems. Total project cost $1.07 million.
  • Hickory Knolls Discovery Center, St. Charles, $130,400 to create an indoor/outdoor glacial-themed exhibit including interpretive kiosks and learning stations. Total project cost $180,400.

Lake County

  • The Raupp Museum, Buffalo Grove, $51,000 to remove an existing mural and create a store front exhibit including interactive detailing transportation innovations. Total project cost $68,300.
  • Lake County Discovery Museum, $750,000 to renovate the lower level of an office building to create permanent storage space for the museum’s historic collections. Total project cost $1.24 million.

Macon County

  • Scovill Zoo, Decatur, $413,700 for a walk-through aviary and crowned crane exhibit, pavilion, ADA walkway and a generator. Total project cost $463,700.

McHenry County

  • Lost Valley Visitor Center, $400,000 to create exhibits for the Visitor Center in the Glacial Park Conservation Area. Total project cost $400,000.

McLean County

  • Miller Park Zoo, Bloomington, $700,000 for a new DeBrazza’s Monkey exhibit, renovations to the zoo’s Entrance Building and an additional parking lot. Total project cost $720,000.
  • McLean County Museum of History, $254,800 to rehabilitate historic lighting systems and relocate and build new restrooms. Total project cost $254,800.
  • Children’s Discovery Museum, Normal, $116,800 for new floor to ceiling Air Mazes, Bernoulli Table and Wind Energy Station. Total project cost $124,800.

Ogle County

  • Byron Museum of History, $351,400 to remodel the Quonset hut attached to the museum to provide more exhibit space. Total project cost $401,400.

Peoria County

  • Forest Park Nature Center, Peoria, $250,000 for seven interactive exhibits – native animals, topographical dioramas, bird watching, watershed and hill prairies. Total project cost $500,000.

Rock Island County

  • Quad City Botanical Center, Rock Island, $520,000 to construct the Headwaters component needed to complete the Mini-Mississippi River exhibit. Total project cost $616,000.

Stephenson County

  • Stephenson County Historical Society, Freeport, $399,000 to remove and replace existing artifact storage and display area to include water and sewer service and make it ADA accessible. The entry drive will also be widened. Total project cost $499,000.

Will County

  • Hidden Oaks Nature Center, Bolingbrook, $104,500 to construct a wood pavilion with fireplace, tables and seating. Total project cost $104,500.
  • Bird Haven Greenhouse, Joliet, $741,000 to install a glass ceiling, shad cloth and new growing houses. Total project cost $741,000.
  • Isle a la Cache Museum, Forest Preserve District of Will County, $270,000 to renovate and reconstruct a Native American longhouse, ADA upgrades, garden, campfire circle and landscaping. Total project cost $270,000.

Winnebago County

  • Discovery Center Museum, Rockford, $294,000 to replace and refurbish exhibits for ADA accessibility, and to expand the early childhood gallery. Total project cost $294,000.
  • Rockford Art Museum, $369,000 to upgrade storage, handling and prep work. Total project cost $369,000.
  • Veterans Memorial Hall, Rockford, $251,900 to create and install exhibit cabinetry, repair a Civil War statue and prepare the site for outdoor monument placement. Total project cost $293,400.

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