Opening Program: “History in the Painting" at the Figge Art Museum -- July 7.

Thursday, July 7, 5 p.m.

Figge Art Museum, 225 West Second Street, Davenport IA

Providing insight into our country’s past through the work of revered American artists including Thomas Cole, Severin Roesen, Albert Bierstadt, and John Frederick Kensett, the Figge Art Museum's current exhibition The Warner Foundation Collection: History in the Painting will be celebrated in an opening program on July 7, the Davenport venue's event boasting appetizers, a cash bar, and presentations by a number of special guest speakers.

Drawn from the collection of the Warner Foundation, the works in History in the Painting range from bountiful still-lifes to awe-inspiring landscapes, and reflect 19th-century society and culture. Ideas surrounding national pride, agricultural growth, the rise of the middle class, and westward expansion are explored through these paintings, and show how understanding our past is integral to moving forward. Educational programming, including a keynote lecture and mobile audio tours, have also been created for the exhibition, as History in the Painting has been organized with the assistance of graduate students in the Museum Studies Program at Western Illinois University. The exhibition is being sponsored by the Warner Foundation, which is dedicated to promoting an understanding of American history through American art.

Among the featured guests at the Figge's opening program on July 7 is Dr. Graham C. Boettcher, the R. Hugh Daniel Director at the Birmingham Museum of Art. Following the evening's reception of appetizers and beverages, Boettcher will explore the historical context and meaning of the American paintings currently on loan to the Figge from the Warner Foundation, including important works by Thomas Cole, Severin Roesen, Albert Bierstadt, and John Frederick Kensett, among other talents. Boettcher will also share anecdotes about the legendary collector Jonathan “Jack” Westervelt Warner, who, motivated by a love for his country and American history, created one of the world's foremost collections of American art.

The opening program for History in the Painting will begin at 5 p.m. with a reception featuring ight appetizers and a guest bar, as well as an appearance by Dr. Susan Warner, Chair of the Warner Foundation. Boettcher will speak afterward, and registration for the free event is available by contacting the Figge's development officer Sara Morby at or (563)345-6642. The Warner Foundation Collection: History in the Painting will be on display through April 30, and for more information on the exhibit, call (563)326-7804 and visit

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