Tracks: The Railroad in Photographs from the George Eastman House Collection makes its way to the Figge Art Museum, Davenport, on January 15th, 2011. Organized by the George Eastman House, Tracks covers 160 years of railroad history in photography. Both the railway and photography developed concurrently at the beginning of the 19th century and shared similar impressions on people's view of previously unseen landscapes. These inventions permitted, for the first time, a person's ability to be transported, both visually and physically, to worlds they had only previously imagined. Both forever changed the way the world was perceived.

Tracks offers the opportunity to learn about the history of the railroad and to visualize its impact on our country's development. The exhibition contains some of the earliest photographs of trains and railway scenes up through the end of the 20th century. In this survey of railroad images from around the world, trains appear as potent emblems of the modern industrial age and as crucial role players in transformation of the social and physical landscape. Included is the work of legendary photographers: Bisson Frères, Aaron Siskind, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and William Henry Jackson.

Tracks will be accompanied by a companion exhibition of photographic prints in a separate gallery that will explore the history and significance of the railway in the Quad Cities area. Crossing the Mississippi: The Quad Cities, the Railroad and Art includes works on loan from the Rock Island Arsenal Museum, the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center of the Davenport Public Library and the Putnam Museum.

Both exhibitions are sure to please a variety of audiences; including history buffs, lovers of the American West, but especially photography and rail enthusiasts.

Guided group tours are available for the exhibition as well as full museum tours to enhance your visit. Contact the Figge Art Museum at 563.326.7804 or visit online at for more information.

Tracks is funded, in part, by the Riverboat Development Authority and the Iowa Arts Council.


the Figge is "Flooded" with New Art

The past several weeks have brought numerous changes to the Figge Art Museum that includes new works hanging in the permanent and special exhibition galleries. New photographic images from the Figge's Brent Sikkema Collection are up in the permanent galleries that address the human form, including portraits of famous artists (Dali, O'Keeffe, and Miro) shot by Horst P Horst, Eliot Porter and Irving Penn. Also new to the permanent galleries are prints by the English Romantic John Martin (The Deluge) and Mexican-Costa Rican artist Francisco Zunig (Yucateca con Fruta). Furthermore, the John Deere Collection has several new additions of works by Streeter Blair, Fritz Scholder and illustrator Walter Haskell Hinton.


The Figge partnership with the University of Iowa Museum of Art continues, as well, with a new, ongoing exhibition of African Art from the university's world-class collection. Selections from the Stanley Collection features numerous wooden, three-dimensional objects from cultural groups throughout West and Central Africa, such as masks from the Bwa peoples of Burkina Faso and statuettes by the Dogon from Mali.


The Figge will be closed for the holidays on Friday, December 24th and Saturday, December 25th. The museum will re-open on Sunday, December 26th - noon to 5pm. For more information call the Figge at 563.326.7804 or visit



If you've always dreamed of touring London or you feel it's time to make a return visit, don't miss this opportunity to offer a loved one or yourself a holiday gift of experiencing this fascinating city with friends from the Figge Art Museum. The eight-day adventure, May 16 - 23, 2011, includes: visits to some of the most acclaimed art collections in the world, such as the National Gallery, the British Museum and the Tate Modern, among others; tours of two elegant manor homes in London and the suburb of Richmond; and a visit to the offices of David Chipperfield Architects, designers of the Figge Art Museum. In addition, you may join Figge staff in several optional evening activities and excursions; including theatre performances and dinners. The itinerary is flexible by design so you may choose to explore individual interests on your own. The group will stay at the cosmopolitan Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel near the River Thames; just a short walk to Westminster Abbey.

Wynne Schafer, a Figge trustee, and Ann Marie Hayes-Hawkinson, Figge curator of education, will coordinate or lead the scheduled tours and excursions, and will accompany guests on many of the optional activities. The trip fee includes airfare from Moline, ground transportation in London, six night hotel accommodations, all museum and historic home admissions, a farewell group dinner, and taxes. Costs for meals, admissions to special exhibitions, and optional activities are not included. Children 12 and older are welcome. For information about trip highlights and fees, please visit Museum membership required (see information below)

To book your reservation contact Cathy Oney at KDM Travel Agency, 563.324.3201 or by January 12, 2011. For more information on the itinerary, please contact Ann Marie Hayes-Hawkinson at 563.326.7804 x 7887 or

Figge memberships are available at, the Museum Store, or by calling 563.326.7804 x 2007. Memberships start at just $40 and are up to 25% off through December 31.


Figge tour focuses on works that are popular with children.

Take a break from the hectic holiday season at the Figge Art Museum, where you can enjoy a special family-oriented tour. "Celebrating Family" is offered the first three Sundays in December at 1:30 pm (Dec. 5, 12, 19).  The tour begins in the Family Gallery with Doris Lee's print Thanksgiving, which depicts women preparing Thanksgiving dinner during the Great Depression. Families will then be introduced to colorful and whimsical works in the College Invitational exhibition, and several paintings and sculptures by famous artists Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Joan Miró, and Deborah Butterfield. The works were selected for the "Celebrating Family" tour because they are popular with both children and adults.  After the tour, participants can enjoy free hot chocolate.

Thanksgiving is now up in the Family Gallery, so if you can't wait for the tour, bring your family into the Figge today or anytime through the holiday season and enjoy art activities in the gallery with your loved ones!

Tour is free with price of admission.  Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors, and $4 for children. Open Sundays : Noon-5pm.



In conjunction with its exhibition, Dancing Towards Death, the Figge Art Museum will be hosting Ballet Quad Cities for a special encore performance of I, Vampire at 6:30 PM Thursday, November 18. Join us for a special night of art, dance and other activities as two great Quad Cities cultural institutions collaborate to entertain and educate on the dead and undead!  Ballet Quad Cities will give a reprise presentation of I, Vampire in the third floor gallery space at the museum. Inspired by local author Michael Romkey's1990 novel about the transformation of Chicago lawyer David Parker into one of the undead, this modern-day ballet explores the sinister yet sensual relationship between vampires and their victims.

At 7:00 PM. St Ambrose University professor of Art & Art History, Terri Switzer, will talk in the John Deere Auditorium. The lecture, "The Queen of Sins and 'la mort qui danse': Late 19th Century Femme Fatale Imagery", will explore imagery of the popular European theme of the diabolic seductress  through the deadly embrace and bewitching beauty of vampiric man-eating females, syphilis-ridden prostitutes, and the many Salomes and Judiths carrying severed male heads.

Admission to the museum and all activities is FREE after 5 PM. The Figge will be providing a free art lesson in the studios from 5:30 - 6:30 PM. Guided gallery tours start at 6 PM. The bar and café open at 5 PM. The museum is open until 9 PM.


Grant Wood Scholar to Talk about the Man behind the Artist

 Join us at the Figge Art Museum Thursday November 4th at 7 PM for a lecture and reading by R. Tripp Evans, author of Grant Wood: A Life.  Ever since Wood's now-iconic American Gothic caught the nation's attention in 1930, his work has become a blank canvas for audiences?who see what they will in his dream-like landscapes, unconventional history paintings, and forbidding portraits, with little sense of the man who created these images. In his lecture, Evans will discuss some of the sources for Wood's powerful imagery?including a number of important examples from the Figge Museum's extensive collection?and will examine Wood's public image as an uncomplicated "farmer-painter," a persona that has often obscured the far more interesting dimensions of Wood's life; his sexuality, artistic identity and relationship with his family.

R. Tripp Evans, PhD is Professor of Art History at Wheaton College in Massachusetts. He is the author of Romancing the Maya: Mexican Antiquity in the American Imagination, 1820-1915 (2004). He received his doctoral degree in the history of art from Yale University and has served as a visiting lecturer at Yale, Wellesley College, and Brown University.

Evans will be signing books in the store prior to his lecture; beginning at 5:30 pm. Copies are currently on sale in the Museum Store. Admission to the museum and lecture is $7. Admission is free to members, college professors and students. The Figge Arts Café and Bar will be open before and after the lecture.