Figge Art Museum: Sharing World Views & Stories Through Art

When my family was in town for the holidays, I asked what they wanted to do. Since I come from an artistic family, my brother and his family wanted to see the Figge Art Museum. We had visited them in Cincinnati last month and had gone to the Cincinnati Art Museum. So seven of my family members met at the Figge for the afternoon before going to see Star Wars. I was excited to share the Quad Cities stellar art museum. It is a show place!

Designed by internationally known architect, Sir David Chipperfield, with a Sol LeWitt sculpture in the front plaza area, the Figge is a place I am proud to share with visitors.

Fire & Water, 2014 by Yuriko Yamaguchi Hand cast and pigmented resin, steel wire
Fire & Water, 2014 by Yuriko Yamaguchi
Hand cast and pigmented resin, steel wire

When we walked into the Figge Art Museum, the first piece of art that attracted us was Fire & Water by Yuriko Yamaguchi. This piece spoke to each observer differently since everyone came into the museum with a unique world view. The sculpture “explores the interconnectedness of the organic environment and human interaction.”

Work by Wendy Red Star
Work by Wendy Red Star

The next exhibition was by Wendy Red Star. Since two of us are Graphic Artists and one of us is an Industrial Designer, we were intrigued by the work. This artist incorporates digital processes into her work to weave her story. She manipulated digitally reproduced photographs by Charles Milton Bell, 1880. The artist, who resides and teaches in Portland, Oregon, “explores the intersection between life on the Crow Indian reservation and the world outside that environment.”  This exhibit remains through January 17.

Aappiiwaaxaaxiish/Shining  Shell, 2014 Sewn tapestry, digitally printed cotton
Aappiiwaaxaaxiish/Shining Shell, 2014
Sewn tapestry, digitally printed cotton

Looking up the stairs, we saw how art impacts the environment in which it resides.

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In the upper gallery, which is accessible by elevator, we spent a great deal of time in the moving exhibit, Edward S. Curtis: One Hundred Masterworks. In 1900, this Seattle photographer began to photograph the Native American people. He believed that “The passing of every old man or woman means the passing of some tradition, some knowledge of sacred rites possessed by no other; consequently the information that is to be gathered for the benefit of future generations, respecting the mode of life of one of the great races of mankind, must be collected at once or the opportunity will be lost for all time.”

This exhibit has a wonderful book that accompanies it and is available in the gallery shop. We felt that it was worth adding to our libraries. This exhibit will be at the museum through January 17.

Edward S. Curtis, photographer
Edward S. Curtis, photographer
Edward S. Curtis photography exhibition
Edward S. Curtis photography exhibition

Ellen Wagener: Horizon Lines is another exhibit that we spent more time experiencing and discussing. Wagener, a native of DeWitt, Iowa, now resides in Arizona. Midwestern landscapes inspire her pastel work. This exhibit continues through January 24 and F-5 Tornado is part of the permanent collection.

F-5 Tornado, 2003 Pastel on paper 7 panels
F-5 Tornado, 2003
Pastel on paper
7 panels

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The museum has many more exhibitions including a Frank Lloyd Wright gallery and a Grant Wood gallery.

The Figge has a beautiful cafe with a view of the Mississippi River. We enjoyed a leisurely lunch and conversation.

Hours for the cafe are Tuesday through Friday from 11 to 2.

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Bar at Figge
Bar at Figge

The Figge ‘s education component offers family events and workshop, children and adult art classes, docent classes, Thursdays at the Figge, and the popular PechaKucha Nights, where members of the public present 20 images to discuss for about 6 minutes. Many of my artist friends have presented at PechaKucha Night.

The museum has a large gift shop which is tastefully designed with affordable items of quality for all ages and interests.

My New Year’s resolution is to spend more time at the Figge Art Museum. I became a member again this year. I sincerely think it is important to support the arts in your community. Art and culture has a positive impact on the economy of the area. I want to be part of that positive impact. I hope to see you there!

Figge Art Museum

225 West Second Street, Davenport, IA  52801

563.326.7804 or www.figgeartmuseum.org

Hours:

10 am to 5 pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday

10 am to 9 pm Thursday; Noon to 5 pm Sunday

Admission:

$7 adults
$6 seniors (60 and older)/students with ID’s
$4 children ages 4-12
Free to children under age 4
Free to members
Free admission to non-members on Thursdays after 5 pm
Free admission to seniors the first Thursday of every month
Free admission to all active military members, spouses and children

Cafe Hours:

11 to 2 Tuesday through Friday

The facilities are available for rent for special occasions.

Docent led tours are available and are free with membership or admission.

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About the author

Deborah Doehler As a life-time resident of the Quad Cities, Deborah is a multi-media artist who works in jewelry, painting, pottery, drawing, collage, and design. Deborah is retired from Black Hawk College after working for 35 years in Marketing as an award-winning graphic designer, writer, supervisor and graphics coordinator. Since 1975, she has had her own design company and studio. You’ll find Deborah serving on the Visual and Public Arts Committee for Quad City Arts where she was a board member for 8 years. She supports art and cultural events in the Quad Cities area including volunteering for events at MidCoast Fine Arts Bucktown Center for the Arts where she leases a gallery space. She served as Marketing Director for Riverssance Festival of Fine Arts for 15 years.

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