The Muscatine Art Center is pleased to announce the exhibit opening on June 17 and artist reception for Pieced Elegance: Quilts by Clara Oleson on Sunday, June 24 from 1 to 5 PM.

Oleson, who has been a quilter for several decades, uses color, texture and classic quilt patterns as tools of her artistic expression. Many of her quilts explore "the grid" which is deeply embedded in the American piecework tradition. For Oleson, "the grid is symbolic of the borders of our lives, the fences we work behind, the horizons we cannot escape, the principles which guide."  Oleson who quilts for several hours every day, always using 100% cotton, sometimes with Thai silk, is interested in adapting traditional patterns, often in a series of work based on a particular pattern.

"A quilt will always reflect the time of its creation, but the best of them also speak with the silence of eternity. Piecing, designing, quilting - these daily activities, rooted in the female dominated past, are my attempt to capture quietude, with a smile."

- Clara Oleson

. 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.

In conjunction with Iowa Museum Week, June 11-17, the Muscatine Art Center is hosting a FREE Behind-the-Scenes Tour for those interested in visiting working areas normally off limits to the public. Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at the Muscatine Art Center?  Now you can learn where and how collection items are documented, stored, and preserved. Join us for an up close and personal tour of the treasures from the Art Center's permanent collection, guided by MAC staff.  Join a tour group for a truly unique experience as you learn about how the museum operates from the inside out and have your individual questions answered by the staff.  This event will take place on Thursday, June 14, from 5:30 PM to 6:45 PM.

 

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Rarely seen cool stuff from the permanent collection.
  • Collection storage areas including the textile and print rooms and "hidden"  storage areas in the Musser Museum.
  • The original Musser Carriage House and Musser Museum basement.
  • Explanation of how museums keep track of collections.

 

BOOKING INFORMATION:

  • Tours are limited to a maximum of 12 people.
  • Tours are for adults and children over 12 years of age (12-16 year olds need to be accompanied by an adult).
  • Tour duration is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  • As a courtesy to other participants, please be on time.
  • Accessibility is somewhat limited, as they cover areas not generally open to the public. Please notify us at the time of booking of any special requirements and we will let you know if this tour is a good match for you.
  • For security reasons, you may not take mobile phones, cameras, other electrical equipment, bags, food or drinks on the tour. All personal items must be checked before the tour departs.

 

Call NOW to reserve a place in the Muscatine Art Center's Behind-the-Scenes experience!

EVENT DETAILS:

What: Muscatine Art Center's Behind-the-Scenes Tour

Who: Hosted by Muscatine Art Center staff

When: Thursday, June 14, 2012

Time: 5:30-6:45 PM

Where: The Muscatine Art Center

Admission to this program is FREE, pre-registration is required.

Please contact Katy Doherty, Program Coordinator, with any questions or concerns at

563-263-8282 or by email at kdoherty@muscatineiowa.gov.

 

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.

JUNE 1, 2012

 

The public is invited to join the Muscatine Art Center in welcoming local historians Bill Lindsay and Tom Meerdink as they present a talk on the history of the Peter Products Company and the Peter-Mar Toys. The program will take place Sunday, June 10 at 2:00 pm in the Muscatine Art Center's Music Room. Admission is free.

 

In 1941 Ralph Lohr and his partner C.C. Hakes opened the Peter Products Company in Muscatine and began manufacturing wooden household items for retailers like Sears Roebuck. Their venture was successful but World War II caused lumber to be in short supply, most of it going to government contracts or other manufacturing priorities related to the war effort.  The Peter Products company was faced with the choice of closing or starting other product lines.  Under the new name of Peter-Mar Toys, they began purchasing scrap lumber to manufacture toys of their own design. They first produced military style Jeeps and guns and over time expanded to include farm equipment such as tractors, hay racks and wagons. The company's assembly lines were later re-tooled and new designs including a Ferris wheel, Noah's Ark and a trolley made. Peter-Mar Toys closed at the end of the war.

 

A display of original Peter-Mar toys is currently on view in the Musser Museum, gifts of Jim Burr, Mary Gaeta, Mr. & Mrs. Leonard Paul, Jan Ransom, Jerry Schreurs and Ev & Howard Hammann, in memory of Francis & James Tomasson.

EVENT DETAILS:

Talk: "Muscatine's Toy Story"

Who: Bill Lindsay and Tom Meerdink

When: Sunday, June 10 2012

Time: 2:00 PM

Where: The Muscatine Art Center's Music Room

Admission to this program is FREE.

Please contact Katy Doherty, Program Coordinator, with any questions or concerns at

563-263-8282 or by email at kdoherty@muscatineiowa.gov.

 

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.

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 French painter and sculptor Henri Matisse. The lecture will take place Thursday, May 24 at 5:30 pm in the Muscatine Art Center's Music Room. Admission is free.

Henri Matisse was an artist known as a draftsman, printmaker, and sculptor, but is known primarily as a painter and for his use of color. Matisse was one of the leaders of the "Fauves", a group of painters united by their use of fresh color, pure pigments and distortion of form. Years later he would be hailed as a champion of the classical tradition in French painting. His mastery of the expressive language of color and drawing, displayed in a body of work spanning over a half-century, won him recognition as a leading figure in modern art.

Henri->mile-Benoît Matisse was born December 31, 1869 in France. He first started to paint in 1889, after his mother brought him art supplies while he recovered from appendicitis. He discovered "a kind of paradise" as he later described it, and decided to become an artist, deeply disappointing his father, who wanted him to study law.

In late 1890's Matisse was introduced to Post-Impressionism, which changed his style completely. Many of Matisse's paintings from 1898 to 1901 make use of the pointillist technique he adopted from Georges Seurat and Paul Signac.

Later in life and wheelchair-bound, Matisse started creating cut paper collages, called gouaches découpés. He called this technique "painting with scissors". In 1951 he finished a four-year project of designing the interior, the glass windows and the decorations of the Chapelle du Rosaire de Vence, often referred to as the Matisse Chapel. Matisse died of a heart attack at the age of 84 in 1954.

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.

EVENT DETAILS:

Lecture: "The Wonderful World of Color: Henri Matisse"

Who: Carol Ehlers

When: Thursday, May 24, 2012

Time: 5:30 PM

Where: The Muscatine Art Center's Music Room

Admission to this program is FREE.

 

Please contact Katy Doherty, Program Coordinator, with any questions or concerns at  563-263-8282 or by email at kdoherty@muscatineiowa.gov.

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.

THE KADDISH SERIES: PRINTS BY MAURICIO LASANSKY

On view April 15 - June 3, 2012

In response to the recent death of internationally known master printmaker, Mauricio Lasansky, the Muscatine Art Center will host an exhibition of his art from the permanent collection entitled, "The Kaddish Series", beginning Sunday, April 15 and continuing through June 3, 2012.

Mauricio Lasansky was born October 12, 1914 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where his father worked as a banknote engraver. At the age of 19, he began to study painting, sculpture and printmaking at the Escuela Superior of Bellas Artes (Superior School of Fine Arts), Buenos Aires. In 1943 Lasansky came to the United States on a Guggenheim Fellowship and spent a year studying the print collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. In 1945 he was appointed lecturer in printmaking at the University of Iowa, where he established the first Master of Fine Arts in printmaking program in the country. In 1961 Time magazine called the University of Iowa the "printmaking capital of the United States."

As a printmaker, Mauricio Lasansky was known for the grand scale of his images, his vivid color, and the complex layering of multiple print techniques, including engraving, etching, lithography, drypoint, electric stippling and aquatint, in a single work.

In the 1970's, after two decades of work that focused on the horrors of Nazi Germany, Lasansky began working on the eight images that comprise the Kaddish Series. While still very much concerned with the Holocaust, the Kaddish Series focuses on it's aftermath and the ways those who survived deal with the experience.  One part of the Kaddish prayer, which is often recited as part of Jewish funeral services, is a request for peace. The images in this series reveal the artist's belief that finding even a small amount of peace on this earth often comes at a terrible price.

Each of the eight Kaddish prints includes a number from 6,102,301 to 6,102,308, representing the number of Jewish victims of the Nazis, and each image also includes a dove, the universal symbol of peace.

The Kaddish Series was purchased directly from the artist by the Muscatine Art Center in 1979, and is part of collection that includes 25 of his prints.

Mauricio Lasansky was one of the few modern artists who limited their work almost exclusively to the graphic media. Due to his early contributions in the development of graphic techniques and his dedication to teaching printmaking, Lasansky is considered to be a forerunner in the evolution of printmaking as a critical art form and is internationally recognized as one of the "fathers" of 20th Century American printmaking.

Please contact Barbara Christensen, director, with any questions or concerns at 563-263-8282 or by email at bchristensen@muscatineiowa.gov.

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.

The Muscatine Art Center will open an exhibition by Muscatine native Bill Maher on Sunday, January 29th from 1 to 5pm. A reception for the artist will be 2-4pm. The exhibit continues through March 4, 2012.

Bill Maher was born at Belleview Hospital in Muscatine in 1947. His mother was a homemaker and his father served as the Muscatine Chief of Police. As a child he enjoyed baseball, fishing and "drawing stuff: any stuff," and says the he was influenced by comic books and the Sunday funnies, but did not get support for his artistic interests from family or teachers. After graduating from Hayes Catholic High School in 1965 Bill attended Muscatine Community College, was drafted into Army and served in combat in Vietnam. After leaving the army he returned to Muscatine, married and raised five children. An author as well as an artist, Bill has written several books and numerous poems. He has completed a major mural in Fairmont, Minnesota and is known locally for his portraits and wildlife paintings. Throughout his life Bill says that he has found comfort in his art..."it doens't matter what I paint; how I paint, or even if it's any good. It's THAT I paint that matters. If there is anything I'd like people t take from this display (at the Art Center) it would be for them to say, 'well, I could do that!' -and they'd be right".
"Create something from nothing and don't believe the Dream Quellers". - Bill Maher

The Friends of the Muscatine Art Center will hold their annual Festival of Wreaths: A Holiday Salon on Saturday, November 19 from 5:30 to 8PM. The Muscatine Art Center will be decked out in holiday finery and visitors will enjoy appetizers and refreshments catered by Geneva Country Club, live music by Troy Harris and the opportunity to bid on unique holiday items contributed by area businesses.

New this year is an artist's salon featuring the work of local talent including: JoAnn Allbee, Ann Moody, Jon Fasanelli-Cawelti, Tony Ledtje, Kenda Kistenmacher, Virginia Cooper and Cindy Alt, Whitney Carino-Marek and Nancy Prawdzik-Steinbach.

The Friends of the Muscatine Art Center received a $4000 matching grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine so each dollar spent the evening of the Festival will be doubled.  All proceeds benefit the Muscatine Art Center's education programs throughout the year, giving more than 3,500 students the opportunity to experience the visual arts through student tours, artist receptions, class scholarships, a college internship and the talented staff who make it all happen.

Tickets are available for purchase now at the Muscatine Art Center and at the door. Ticket prices are $20 for members of the Friends of the Muscatine Art Center and $25 for non-members. Ticket price includes appetizers, a drink ticket for a beverage of your choice, live entertainment and the opportunity to support arts education at the Muscatine Art Center.

For more information call the Art Center office at (563) 263-8282.

 

In 1892, the 24th General Assembly of Iowa passed an act requiring that the "adjunct-general and the curator of the historical collections......shall cause the colors, standards and battle flags borne by Iowa regiments and batteries during the war of the rebellion to
be placed in hermetically sealed glass cases, in such a manner as to display them to the best advantage, and to preserve them as far as possible from all injury thereto." This action was completed on August 10, 1894, the thirty-third anniversary of the Battle of Wilson's Creek.

For over a hundred years these flags along with flags from Iowa units who served in the Spanish American War and World War I have been honorably displayed in the rotunda of the capitol building in Des Moines, Iowa. These rare artifacts represent the service and sacrifice of thousands of Iowans and are seriously endangered from years of improper display, and a lack of attention and clear  assignment of responsibility for their care.

In January 2000, the battle flag collection was studied by a professional flag conservator with funds appropriated from the capitol restoration funds by the 78th General Assembly. The conservator recommended a strategy to study and stabilize the flags, retrofit exhibit cases in the capitol for rotational display, and to provide for on-going care. Later that year, $150,000 was appropriated to begin work. Actual work on the flag collection began in January 2001, with the stabilization treatment and physical documentation being completed on-site by the Collections Manager/Flag Conservator.

The State Historical Society of Iowa's current Collections Manager/Flag Conservator and Historian, Sheila Hanke, will be presenting a talk about the Iowa Battle Flag project at the Muscatine Art Center on Sunday, October 9 at 2:00PM in the Music Room. Sheila is responsible for overseeing the stabilization and documentation of individual flags. She oversees policies, procedures and registration relating to the flag collection. Sheila also manages the conservation laboratory and supervises technical staff. She oversees the development of interpretive exhibitions and related publications.

Those in attendance of the talk will be able to view the progress of the historic conservation of Iowa's military and territorial flags and will learn more about Iowa in the Civil War. For much of the 9 year preservation project, the public has been able to see the conservator at work in the laboratory through tours and video conferencing. The customized laboratory has provided a secure location for these national treasures to be documented, preserved and interpreted. These flags represent not only Iowa's history but Iowa's role in a pivotal event in our nation's history. The preservation effort ensures that future generations will know the stories of the men and women who served this nation. By building a secure conservation laboratory, the State Historical Society of Iowa has provided the public with a unique look into the preservation process while protecting the flag collection.

The talk will be a 45 minute presentation on the history of the grassroots effort to launch the project, the flag collection and the conservation process.

DETAILS:
What: Iowa Battle Flag Conservation Project talk by Sheila Hanke
When: Sunday, October 9, 2011
Time: 2:00PM
Where: The Muscatine Art Center's Music Room

Admission to this program is FREE.

Please contact Katy Doherty, Program Coordinator, with any questions or concerns at 563-263-8282 or by email at kdoherty@muscatineiowa.gov.

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

The Muscatine Art Center and Muscatine Parks and Recreation Department are cosponsoring Civil War Soldiers Greenwood Cemetery Tours on Sunday, September 25 and Saturday, October 1, 2011. 

The 1 ½ hour narrated tours (walking or bus) will include visiting the gravesites of many of the soldiers buried in Greenwood Cemetery that are also represented in the exhibit Muscatine & the Civil War: A Sesquicentennial Commemoration being held at the Muscatine Art Center. Among others, participants will learn about Muscatine soldiers Charles Knoblauch who owned a saloon in Muscatine before enlisting, and Abraham Hare, who established the first hat factory in Muscatine before becoming a Colonel for the Union Army.  

Sunday, September 25  - deadline for registration Sunday, September 18 
Tour times: 12:30PM & 3PM  
Saturday, October 1  - deadline for registration Saturday, September 24 
Tour times: 10AM, 12:30PM & 3PM  

Registration is $5.00 for adults. Seniors (age 65+) and youth 16 and under are free.  All participants MUST pre-register.  Register for one of the times listed above and indicate whether you would like a walking tour (maximum enrollment 15) or a bus tour (maximum enrollment 19). 

To register contact Katy Doherty, Program Coordinator at kdoherty@muscatineiowa.govor call 563.263.8282.   

On the day of the tour participants are asked to meet in the Cedar Street parking lot of the Muscatine Art Center at least 15 minutes before the tour departs. Busses will be provided by MUSCABUS and are handicapped accessible.  The Muscatine Art Center is open to the public Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10AM to 5PM, Thursday from 10AM to 7PM and Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5PM Admission is FREE.

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