Kurt Ullrich's “The Iowa State Fair" at the Muscatine Art Center -- through September 8.

Through Sunday, September 8

Muscatine Art Center, 1314 Mulberry Avenue, Muscatine IA

In the latest Musser House Galleries exhibit at the Muscatine Art Center, rides, contests, animals, refreshments, delighted patrons, and more will be showcased in Iowa artist Kurt Ullrich's The Iowa State Fair, a collection of gorgeous and evocative black-and-white images, on display through September 8, that truly evince the wonder of this annually awaited outdoor tradition.

Ullrich's art career started when he became the photographer for collegiate publications at Wartburg College in the 1970s. As a writer and photographer, he uses both mediums to tell stories and for many decades his written newspaper columns, accompanied by his photos, have appeared regularly in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Baltimore Sun, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Houston Chronicle, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and The Iowan.

Kurt Ullrich's “The Iowa State Fair" at the Muscatine Art Center -- June 13 through September 8.

His The Iowa State Fair exhibit includes 50 delightful photographs featured in his book of the same name, published by the University of Iowa Press. Ullrich says, “I see the Iowa State Fair as an important part of the history of the state and as a fan, I created a photo book to cover the event. The purpose of the first agricultural fairs in the early 1800s, was to introduce early American farmers to some of the best agricultural practices and farm animals. As fairs grew and became family affairs, women were asked to compete in cooking and baking contests, and then rides and games were added for the children.”

Today's Iowa State Fair is still very much about agriculture, and attendees will see some of the most gorgeous animals on earth and the people that care for these animals. On any given day at the fair you will be surrounded by 100,000 other people and all are pursuing happiness, regardless of what is happening in their lives. Ullrich's The Iowa State Fair book will be available for purchase throughout the run of the exhibition, with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting the Muscatine Art Center.

Kurt Ullrich's “The Iowa State Fair" at the Muscatine Art Center -- June 13 through September 8.

The Iowa State Fair will be on view in the Musser House Galleries through September 8, and the public is invited to meet photographer Ullrich during the annual Ice Cream Social held on Sunday, June 30, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Regular gallery hours are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. Donations are appreciated, and more information is available by calling (563)263-8282 and visiting MuscatineArtCenter.org.

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