Talks highlights techniques used to make chairs and environmental art

"How was it made?" is a question that one hears frequently when looking at art. Learn how several chairs in the Figge Art Museum special exhibition The Art of Seating: 200 Years of American Chair Design were made at an art talk at 7 pm Thursday, July 14. Mark Holmes, associate professor of Art at Knox College, will present the talk. In addition to his work as a sculptor, Holmes spent 15 years designing and making furniture (including chairs) as the owner of -ism Furniture in Chicago. He received his MFA in Sculpture from Yale University.

The Art of Seating will be on view at the Figge through September 4. The exhibition is developed by the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville and the Jacobsen Collection of American Art, and organized by International Art & Artists, Washington, D.C. For additional exhibition-related programs, please visit the Figge website at

Also this Thursday, at 6pm visiting artist Aurora Robson will talk about her work, Up Drop, which is installed on Level 1. The sculpture is made from plastic debris (PET bottles) caps, rivets, tinted polycyrlic and steel armature.  Robson's intricate and remarkable hanging structures are created from all manner of discarded plastic waste.   This work complements the current exhibition, Water Views by providing an interesting counterpoint to the idyllic waterscapes ofWater Views

Robson will be featured in the fall installation, Everything All at Once Forever, opening September 24 in the Orientation Gallery on Level 1.  The installation will feature plastic debris sculptures created specifically for the Figge installation. These new individual pieces will complement Up Drop, a work borrowed from the Gallery 212 in Colorado. Together they will create a space for the audience to explore the works on an intimate level.

Admission to the museum and tour is $7. Admission is free to Figge members and institutional members.



Tour special exhibition of American Chairs with docents

The Figge Art Museum presents the art talk "Goldilocks' Dilemma" at 7 pm Thursday, July 7. The talk is offered in conjunction with the special exhibitionThe Art of Seating: 200 Years of American Chair Design. Sandy Fritz, Judie Lance, Lois Nichols, Stephanie Rapahel-Nakos will talk about their favorite chairs: a Shaker rocking chair (c.1840), an office chair designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for his Johnson Wax Company building in Racine, Wisconsin, and a "Texas Longhorn Chair" (ca. 1890) made with actual horns. The talk lasts 30 minutes. 

The Art of Seating will be on view at the Figge through September 4. The exhibition is developed by the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville and the Jacobsen Collection of American Art, and organized by International Art & Artists, Washington, D.C. For additional exhibition-related programs, please visit the Figge website at

Admission to the museum and tour is $7. Admission is free to Figge members and institutional members.


Information session offered July 13

The Figge Art Museum is offering a free information session on the museum's Candidate Docent Training Program at 10:30 am Wednesday, July 13. Docents are volunteers who lead exhibition tours for schoolchildren and adults. Museum staff will explain the program requirements and answer questions prospective docents may have about the program. The information session will last about an hour.

The Candidate Docent Training Program consists of short art history lectures, gallery talks, and group activities to learn how to talk about and interpret works of art on display in the Figge galleries. The program runs 9:00-11:30 Wednesday, September 7-December 14. The program is taught by Figge Curator of Education Ann Marie Hayes-Hawkinson, guest lecturers, and Figge docents who serve as mentors.

The information session is free, but reservations are appreciated. To make a reservation, call Ann Marie Hayes-Hawkinson at 563.326.7804 x7887.

For more information about the Figge's Docent Program, please visit the Figge website at

Davenport, Iowa - July, 2011- The Figge Art Museum is partnering with the Quad Cities River Bandits to host "Art in the Ballpark" on Sunday, July 10 as the River Bandits take on the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. During the game, kids can do two art activities led by the Figge Art Museum: Paint Like Pollock?where kids will paint and splatter on a giant canvas, just like the artist Jackson Pollock?and Rascal Mosaic?where kids can help color a super-sized mosaic of the River Bandits' logo. Both activities are family-friendly and open to children of all ages. This community art project is offered in conjunction with the River Bandits' U.S. Bank Family Sunday.

The completed wall-size Paint Like Pollock mural and the Rascal Mosaic will be on view in the Figge Studios on Saturday, July 16 during the museums' Free Family Event. The Free Family Event runs from 1-3 pm and is sponsored by John Deere. After the event, the mural and mosaic will be returned to the Bandits for future display at the ballpark.

In addition to viewing the completed project, guests at the July 16 Free Family Event will get to take part in several family-friendly art activities, all of which connect to the Figge's newest exhibition: The Art of Seating: 200 Years of American Chair Design. During the event, families can create their own miniature chair sculptures, become sleuths and solve "The Great Chair Repair," help decorate numerous community chairs, get their picture taken in a super-sized art chair, enjoy studio snacks and participate in all the other fun family activities the museum offers?all for FREE!

This Family Free Event is great opportunity for those who have not yet visited the museum to explore the galleries and studios through guided activities and tours. Contact the Figge Art Museum at 563.326.7804 for more information.

The Figge Art Museum is pleased to announce that it has received a grant from Humanities Iowa. The Figge was recently awarded a $5,000 grant for its upcoming exhibition "Turn of the Century Posters from the Krannert Art Museum Collection" (Sept. 3, 2011 - Jan. 8, 2012).

"Turn of the Century Posters" documents the emergence of fine art posters and other forms of advertising art within European visual culture at the turn of the twentieth century. The exhibition highlights posters by artists including Pierre Bonnard, Alphonse Mucha, Jan Toorop and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and illustrates how artists utilized lithography for different purposes and with varying regional stylistic characteristics.

The exhibition will be supplemented with extensive educational programming such as lectures, gallery talks and family events. Funding from Humanities Iowa will be used to support educational programming for the exhibition.

Humanities Iowa is an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities and brings the humanities to the public through grant making, publications, and through interactive programming and events;  The views and opinions expressed by the exhibition and its educational programming do not necessarily reflect those of Humanities Iowa or the National Endowment for the Humanities. 

For more information and museum hours, contact the Figge at 563.326.7804 or visit


The Figge Art Museum is offering art workshops for adults and teens. Many classes are designed for beginners and do not require any previous art experience. Registration is required one week prior to the workshop date or the first date of the class. To register, call the Figge Education Department at563.326.7804 x2045. For class descriptions and supply lists, please visit

Offsite at Lindsey Park weather permitting; in case of inclement weather, class will meet at the Figge
Instructor:  Gloria Burlingame
10 am - 12:30 pm  Saturday, June 25
$25/members; $30/non-members

Instructor:  Bonnie Grebner
6 - 8:30pm  Thursdays, July 7 & 14
$45/member; $50/non-member 

For Teens 13 and older
Instructor: Cindy Bergthold
12 - 4 pm  Saturday, July 9
$35/members; $40/non-members

Instructor:  Allen Holloway
10 am - 1 pm   Saturday, July 30
$30/members; $35/non-members 

Instructor:  Amy Nielsen
10:30 am - 1:30 pm   Saturday, August 13
$30/members; $35/non-members 

Instructor:  Lynn Gingras-Taylor
10 am - 12:30 pm  Saturday, August 20
$25/members; $30/non-members

Offsite at Vander Veer Park; in case of inclement weather, class will paint in the conservatory
Instructor:  Cindy Bergthold
9 am - 12 pm  Saturday, August 27
$30/members; $35/non-members


Examine Women's Clothing and Jewelry through Art

The Figge Art Museum presents "Fashionable Women in Art Tour" every Sunday during the month of June at 1:30 pm. Museum tour guides, referred to as docents, will discuss several works in the permanent collection, including two portraits from the seventeenth century as well as paintings from the nineteenth century and early twentieth century. The tour will highlight both clothing and jewelry. The tour lasts approximately one hour.

Admission to the museum and tour is $7. Admission is free to Figge members and institutional members.


Figge Tour Highlights Davenport History and Architecture

The Figge Art Museum is offering a tour of historic buildings in downtown Davenport this summer.  The tour begins at the Figge Art Museum and features several buildings, including  J.H.C. Petersen's Sons Store (1892), Putnam Building (1910), M.L. Parker Bulding (1922), Mississippi Hotel (1931), Kahl Building and Capitol Theatre (1920), First National Bank Building (1923), and Davenport Bank and Trust (1927). The tour will explore the style and meaning of these buildings in context with Davenport's historic period of development. The tour will conclude at the Figge Art Museum with a discussion of the meaning of David Chipperfield's design for the Quad Cities Community. Tours are led by Figge docents.

Tours begin at 10:30 am and last approximately 90 minutes. Wednesday tour dates include June 15, July 6, August 3, and September 7. Saturday tour dates include June 18, July 2, July 16, August 6, August 20, and September 3. Participants are encouraged to dress appropriately for warm weather and wear comfortable shoes. The museum will provide bottled water.

Admission to the museum and tour is $7. Admission is free to Figge members and institutional members.


WHAT: View the first works of art from the "The Art of Seating: 200 Years of American Chair Design" to be installed at the Figge Art Museum.

WHEN: 1p.m. Thursday, June 9, 2011 at the Figge Art Museum, 225 West Second St., Davenport, IA, 52801

WHO: Dr. Rima Girnius, Figge Art Museum Associate Curator, will be available to answer questions about the exhibition.


Media will enter the Figge through the loading dock entrance just east of the main entrance, where they will be met by staff who will guide them to the exhibition. Dr. Girnius will be available to provide information on the works of art on display.

The exhibition presents the history, innovation and construction of American chair design.  Curated from a private collection, this exhibit showcases important selections from the 1800s to the present by designers and manufacturers including John Henry Belter; George Hunzinger; the Herter Brothers; the Stickley Brothers; Frank Lloyd Wright; Charles and Ray Eames; Isamu Noguchi; Frank Gehry; Knoll; Herman Miller; Steelcase and others.

Davenport, IA (May 2011) ? On Thursday, May 19, the Figge says 'bon voyage' to two works from the collection that will soon go on loans to other institutions for upcoming exhibitions. Bruce Carter, host of WVIK's Art Talks, will lead an Art Talk at 7pm about Mrs. Chase in Pink by William Merritt Chase and Liz Taylor by Andy Warhol before they go on their summer vacations.

The Art Talk will explore the differences in the two featured paintings.  Figge staff will also talk briefly on how loans increase national and international visibility for the Figge and its collection.  Guests will be invited to take part in a special Thursdays at the Figge free art activity; inspired by Andy Warhol's vibrantly colored lithographic print of Elizabeth Taylor, guests can design their own portrait using a simple printing process.

Mrs. Chase in Pink will be loaned to The Paine Art Center and Gardens in Oshkosh, Wisconsin for their summer exhibition, William Merritt Chase: Family Portraits (June 18 to October 9, 2011).  The exhibition focuses on his portraits of his wife and children and will feature two dozen of his works, loaned from both public and private institutions.

Andy Warhol's Liz Taylor will be included in Warhol and the Diva (June 25 - September 25, 2011), an exhibition at The Lowery in Manchester, UK, coordinated in part by the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The exhibition focuses on Warhol's depictions of some of the most iconic performance figures of the 20th century, including Marilyn Monroe, Liza Minnelli and Mick Jagger. It also explores' Warhol's identity as a diva, focusing on his transformation within his Self Portrait in Drag series.

This is not the first time that works from the Figge collection have been loaned to other institutions for major exhibitions.  This past October, one of the Figge's most treasured Mexican Colonial paintings, Baltasar de Echave Rioja's La Adoración de los Magos (The Adoration of the Maji), traveled to the Prado and the Royal Palace in Madrid, Spain to be part of the exhibition Painting of the Kingdoms-Shared Identities and is now on view in Mexico City as part of an exhibition of the same name at the Museo Palacio Cultural Banamex (Antiguo Palacio de Iturbide).

To learn more about the La Adoración de los Magos's trip to Spain and to see an image of the Queen Sofia of Spain at the Palacio Real de Madrid with the Curator, Jonathan Brown, NYU, with the Figge's La Adoracioìn de los Magos in the background visit:

To learn more about the Figge's Thursdays at the Figge program, visit: