Walter Wick (American born 1953) IA Surprise Visitor from CYSWIS? Out of This World, pigmented inkjet photograph, 50 x 30 inches. Collection of the artist, Copyright 2013 Walter Wick

Saturday, July 6, through Sunday, November 17

Figge Art Museum, 225 West Second Street, Davenport IA

The whimsical world of Walter Wick has fascinated people of all ages since 1992, when his first children's book series I Spy found its way onto the bookshelves of millions of American households. And from July 6 through November 17, admirers of the artist can delight to his elaborate images in Walter Wick: Hidden Wonders!, a dazzling collection of dozens of colorful wonders on display at Davenport's Figge Art Museum.

Over the decades, Wick's books have garnered such acclaim that he is now one of the most celebrated photographic illustrators of all time. Wick began his artistic career as a landscape photographer before becoming enamored with the technical aspects of studio photography. He aspired to master studio techniques, but also to represent such concepts as the perception of space and time in photographs, and he experimented with mirrors, time exposures, photo composites, and other tricks to do so. This manipulation of processes and perception has led to a prolific career that has now, more than 30 years after the release of I Spy: A Book of Picture Riddles, resulted in the publication of more than 26 children's books.

In the past 16 years, the New Britain Museum of American Art (NBMAA) has celebrated Wick's delightful imagery in several installations, including the highly acclaimed 2006 exhibition Walter Wick; Games, Gizmos, & Toys in the Attic, which traveled to 15 additional museums across the United States. In 2015, through the generosity of Walter Wick and Linda Cheverton Wick, the NBMAA was gifted a collection of 84 of Wick's masterful photographs. The appeal of Wick's photographs, books, and installations has continued to draw admirers of all ages from across Connecticut and around the world.

The Figge Art Museum's exhibition is the largest survey of Wick's work to date. Titled after his recent book, Walter Wick: Hidden Wonders! showcases 50 years of innovation, wonder, and imagination. Tracing the span of Wick's career, the exhibition is organized by themes that have long fascinated Wick, including Miniature World; Floor Games; Craft-Built Worlds; Optical Illusions; I Spy Games; Puzzle Challenges, Wonders of Science, Connecticut Woods; and Curiosity Shop. The exhibition pairs beloved images, including more than 15 never-before-seen works, with numerous three-dimensional models upon which his photographs are based. Celebrating five decades of creativity, as well as Wick's indelible role in the development of photographic illustration, this exhibition is a must-see for art lovers of any age. Organized by the New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, Connecticut in partnership with the artist, Walter Wick: Hidden Wonders! is made possible by The Saunders Foundation and the Cheryl Chase and Stuart Bear Family Foundation.

Walter Wick: Hidden Wonders! will be on display in the Davenport venue's Katz Gallery and Mary Waterman Gildehaus Community Gallery from July 6 through November 17, with regular museum hours 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays through Saturdays (10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursdays) and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Museum admission is $4-10, though thanks to the generous sponsorship of Cal and Jill Werner, museum admission will be free throughout the month of July. For more information, call (563)326-7804 and visit FiggeArtMuseum.org.

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