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Home > News and Events

On View in the Stanley Gallery

 

Not So Ordinary:

Iowa Regionalists and Scenes of Rural Life

March 9 - July 30, 2017

 

On view

First and Second floor of the Stanley Gallery

 

On View in the Musser McColm Mansion

 

Spring Motor Phonographs, Circa 1900

from the collection of Brian Walter
 

Early American Pattern Glass and Art Glass

from the collection of the Muscatine Art Center

 


 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: July 24, 2017
Contact: Melanie Alexander
Organization: Muscatine Art Center
Phone Number: 563-263-8282
 
Muscatine Art Center Announces Exhibition of Works by Carol Steinmetz
 
On August 5, 2017, the Muscatine Art Center will open the exhibition, “Carol Steinmetz: An Artist’s Spectrum”. Local artist, Carol Steinmetz, has developed her artistic style over the last four decades. The exhibition spans her career from her works in oil to her well known florals, barns, and local landmarks and through her recent exploration with abstract and mixed media. A reception for the artist will be held on Sunday, August 13th from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. with brief remarks at 2:00 p.m.

 
            


Carol Boehl Steinmetz begins each watercolor painting with an open mind, putting colors on the paper and allowing them to move around “wet in wet”. Steinmetz is continuously learning and challenging herself. She explains, “I have always enjoyed creating – sewing, knitting, crocheting, home decorating, and gardening. When I was introduced to painting, it became my challenge and pursuit. I wanted to try any and all of the art media from drawing and pastel to watercolor and oil.”

A Muscatine native, Carol attended Muscatine Community College and the University of Iowa. She worked as a secretary for several years and raised a family. When her children began middle school, Steinmetz began to pursue art – a secret ambition. The “Famous Artists School” in Westport, Connecticut offered a correspondence course, and she began to practice from home, primarily in oils. The course was her first introduction to watercolors. Steinmetz attended workshops taught by Ralph Iaccarino, Nita Engle, Barbara Nechis, Tom Lynch, Frank Webb, Judi Betts, Tony Van Hasselt, and others. In more recent years, Steinmetz traveled to Italy to study with American painter, Rose Edin.
Throughout her career, and continuing today, Steinmetz has immersed herself in a wide range of subject matters. She explains, “Living along the Mississippi River in a town with many historic buildings and surrounded by beautiful farmland, there are limitless subjects to paint. In more recent years, I have been experimenting with abstract and collage concepts as well as portraits. I find my passion to paint continues to increase as time goes on.”

Steinmetz is a Signature Member of the Iowa Watercolor Society and has exhibited as part of the Iowa Watercolor Society juried show. Her watercolors have been exhibited at venues throughout the region including the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinic’s Project Art, the Clinton Art Gallery, the Quad-City Botanical Center’s Invitational Art Show, the Muscatine County Fine Arts Exhibition, the Mississippi Valley Welcome Center in LeClaire, the “Women at Work” exhibition at Augustana College, the Muscatine Art Center, Musser Public Library, Geneva Golf & Country Club, and the Moline Public Library.

Steinmetz has taught adult education art classes for Muscatine Community College, completed a large commission for Muscatine County, designed covers for local publications, and has introduced many children to the joys of watercolor painting. Her works of art are held in private, public, and corporate collections.

Steinmetz’s talents have been shared with many regional and local arts-based organizations and other nonprofits. She helped to establish a local art gallery cooperative and has held numerous offices and performed many duties. She served on the Artists Advisory Committee for the Figge Museum of Art in Davenport. Her paintings have been donated to help raise funds for regional philanthropic causes.

Her drive to create continues, and she has expanded into other mediums such as paper making. The exhibition, “Carol Steinmetz: An Artist’s Spectrum”, provides an overview of her artwork to-date. Her personal journey as an artist continues with great joy and enthusiasm.

The Muscatine Art Center is located at 1314 Mulberry Avenue in Muscatine, Iowa. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday evenings until 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free. Donations are appreciated.

 



July 2017
Contact: Melanie Alexander
Organization: Muscatine Art Center
Phone Number: 563-263-8282
 
James Henry of Burlington to Exhibit at Muscatine Art Center
 
Burlington, Iowa artist, James Walker Henry, will open an exhibition in the Musser House gallery at the Muscatine Art Center on August 13, 2017. For the last thirty-five years, Henry has created over five hundred surreal works of art that address social and political issues. He explores current events and ideas through paint and brush. He was first introduced to surrealist artists and the style of surrealism while taking art history courses. Henry studied at Burlington’s Southeast Community College where studio art instructors helped him further develop his artistic technique.

Henry’s works have been exhibited nationally and internationally. According to the artists, “These surreal images – some beautiful and some blunt and harsh – make bold statements that leave lasting impacts on the viewing audience.” Henry’s paintings have been featured in art publications such as Manhattan Arts, Surreal Magazine, and New Art Examiner. His works have been added to permanent collections around the world including collections in Ireland, France, England, and the Netherlands.

                                          

James Henry’s exhibition at the Muscatine Art Center will be on view from August 13th through September 24th. The general public is invited to meet the artist on Sunday, August 13th from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

The Muscatine Art Center is located at 1314 Mulberry Avenue in Muscatine, Iowa. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday evenings until 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free. Donations are appreciated.

 



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Date: May 18, 2017
Contact: Melanie Alexander
Organization: Muscatine Art Center
Phone Number: 563-263-8282
 
Reopening Celebration Planned for June 1, 2017
Muscatine Art Center
 
 
After more than a year, the historic Musser-McColm House at the Muscatine Art Center is reopening, and the public is invited to celebrate on Thursday, June 1st from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. A ribbon cutting will take place at 3:30 p.m. on the second floor of the historic house.
 
While contractors replaced HVAC equipment, installed a geothermal field, repaired and replaced windows, and upgraded electrical systems, the staff at the Muscatine Art Center has introduced new features into the historic house. Visitors can now learn about the history of the house and family through a touchscreen video and can explore the collection with two new touchscreen kiosks. Muscatine Art Center Director, Melanie Alexander explains, “Visitors often want details about the artwork and artifacts on view in the historic house, but the look of the historic house is lessened by covering the walls in labels. Technology is putting information at the fingertips of visitors who can pick and choose the objects of most interest to them.”
 
Changes on the second floor of the historic house include new art installations in the central hall. “The current installation features portraits from the permanent collection,” states Alexander. “We put in a wall hanging system which will enable us to more regularly rotate artwork while minimalizing damage to the plaster walls.” Three rooms on the second floor feature a collection of spring motor phonographs on loan from Brian Walter. Exhibitions in these rooms will change. The phonograph exhibition will be on view through July 30, 2017. The former master bedroom has been transformed into a display room for the pattern and art glass collection. A series of cases designed by Pearl City Woodworks features top to bottom displays of the glass collection. Individual glass objects will rotate periodically.
 
“One of the most significant changes in the historic house is the addition of the ‘Learn to Look’ family gallery,” explains Alexander. “For many years, the staff and board has discussed ways to make the facility more family-friendly.” The gallery features a wide variety of hands-on activities, children’s books, games, and toys. Muscatine Art Center Program Coordinator, Teresa Stenstrup, describes the room as “a space where children can experience the collection in a fun and inviting way.” Stenstrup continues, “Kids can be kids in the room, and their parents or grandparents can use the activities to engage in play and spark conversation.”
 
The Muscatine Art Center received many grants to make the 2016-2017 projects possible. The Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust awarded $360,000 to cover a portion of the HVAC upgrades and to fund many of the improvements to the historic house, including the addition of the “Learn to Look” family gallery. The State Historical Society of Iowa awarded a Historic Resource Development grant of $9,375 for the touchscreen kiosks. The Early American Pattern Glass Society provided a grant of $2,500 for the display cases to showcase the glass collection. The Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine granted $1,800 to enable repair work in the organ pipe room. The City of Muscatine’s 2016 bond issue covered the largest portion of the HVAC project. The project is expected to go before City Council for closeout in June 2017.
 
The celebration on June 1st is a family-friendly event. Free art projects for kids will be offered, as well as free hot dogs and other treats. Brian Walter will give demonstrations of his historic phonographs. All are invited to explore the new installations, new technology features, and new hands-on activities, as well as the exhibitions and historic Japanese Garden.
 
The Muscatine Art Center is located at 1314 Mulberry Avenue in Muscatine, Iowa. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday evenings until 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free. Donations are appreciated. Visit www.muscatineartcenter.org for more information about programs and events and to download a class brochure.

 
 





 




PRESS RELEASE
MUSCATINE ART CENTER
1314 Mulberry Avenue, Muscatine, IA 52761    563-263-8282
www.muscatineartcenter.org
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 22, 2017
 
“Not So Ordinary: Iowa Regionalists and Scenes of Rural Life” on View through July 30, 2017
CONTACT:  Melanie Alexander, Director 563-263-8282 or malexander@muscatineiowa.gov
 
Iowa prairie is fertile ground for both farmers and artists. As a world-famous artist and the son of a farmer, Grant Wood captured the everyday beauty of Iowa’s land and people. As a child, he taught himself how to draw with charcoal sticks from the kitchen stove. At age 14, he entered a lifelike drawing of oak leaves in a national contest and won third prize. As a teacher and one of the founders of the Stone City Art Colony, Grant Wood inspired many fellow Iowa artists to tell the stories of rural America.
“Not So Ordinary” is an exhibition featuring the Muscatine Art Center’s remarkable Iowa Regionalist collection. Visitors to the exhibition can compare paintings and prints by Grant Wood to works by Marvin Cone, John Bloom, Alma Held, Arnold Pyle, Juanita Jamison, Harold Allison, and others, including Muscatine’s own, William Bunn. Some of these artists are connected to Grant Wood through the Stone City Art Colony, while others overlapped at the University of Iowa’s School of Art. Some completed Public Works of Art Project (PWAP) murals under the supervision of Grant Wood, while others also exhibited in the Iowa Art Salon in the 1930s. 
Muscatine Art Center Director, Melanie Alexander explains, “The exhibition highlights the connections these Iowa artists shared with Grant Wood and one another. I hope visitors who have an appreciation for the work of Grant Wood will take the time to learn about his fellow Iowa artists who were active during the same time period.”
The artwork exhibited in “Not So Ordinary” captures everyday scenes such as a girl playing the piano, cows in a feedlot, the Iowa landscape, and farmers working the earth. “What makes the exhibition ‘not so ordinary’ is that these works were part of a movement towards a distinctive American method promoted by Grant Wood,” states Alexander. “Back in the 1930s, Wood was urging artists to create works based on what they knew. Visitors to the exhibition will discover many artists who took his advice.”
“Not So Ordinary” is on view through July 30, 2017. Admission to the exhibition is free. Donations are appreciated.
The Muscatine Art Center is located at 1314 Mulberry Avenue in Muscatine, Iowa. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday evenings until 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Visit www.muscatineartcenter.org for more information about programs and events and to download a class brochure.

 
 



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Date: March 8, 2017
Contact: Melanie Alexander
Organization: Muscatine Art Center
Phone Number: 563-263-8282


The Scared Cause of Union: Iowa in the Civil War

 
Local author Thomas R. Baker will present material from his book, The Scared Cause of Union: Iowa in the Civil War, published in November 2016 by the University of Iowa Press, at the Muscatine Art Center. Guests will learn about the unique place Iowa holds in Civil War history, meet Mr. Baker, and have the opportunity to purchase a signed copy of The Sacred Cause of Union. The program will be held on March 30, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. in the Art Center’s Music Room. Admission is free and open to the public.
 
The Sacred Cause of Union highlights Iowans’ important role in reuniting the nation. In this first ever survey of the state’s Civil War history, Baker interweaves economics, politics, army recruitment, battlefield performance, and government administration. Scattered across more than a dozen states and territories, Iowa’s fighting men marched long distances and won battles against larger rebel armies despite having little food or shelter and sometimes poor equipment. In the absence of a coordinated military supply system, women’s volunteer organizations were instrumental in delivering food, clothing, medicines, and other supplies. All of these efforts contributed to the Union victory and catapulted Iowa into the top circle of the most influential states in the nation.
 
To shed light on how individual Iowans experienced the war, the book profiles six state residents. Three were well-known. Annie Wittenmyer led the state’s efforts to ship clothing and food to the soldiers. Alexander Clark, a Muscatine businessman and the son of former slaves, eloquently championed the rights of African Americans. Cyrus Carpenter served in the army and then headed the state’s Radical Republican faction after the war, ultimately being elected governor. Three never became famous. Ben Stevens fought in an Iowa regiment at Shiloh, and then transferred to a Louisiana African American regiment so that he could lead the former slaves into battle. Farm boy Abner Dunham defended the Sunken Road at the Battle of Shiloh, before spending seven grim months in Confederate prison camps. The young Charles Musser faced pressure from his neighbors to enlist and from his parents to remain at home to work on the farm. Soon after he signed on to serve the Union, he discovered that his older brother had joined the Confederate Army. Through the letters and lives of these six Iowans, Baker shows how the Civil War transformed the state.
 
Thomas R. Baker is the associate dean of students at the University of Iowa. A judicial administrator since 1988, he specializes in civil rights investigations. He lives in Muscatine with his partner, Neva Rettig Baker. The Sacred Cause of Union is available for sale at bookstores or directly from the University of Iowa Press at 800-621-2736 or online at uipress.uiowa.edu.
 
The Muscatine Art Center is located at 1314 Mulberry Avenue in Muscatine, Iowa. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday evenings until 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Donations are appreciated. Visit www.muscatineartcenter.org for more information about programs and events and to download a class brochure. 

 




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Date: January 24, 2017
Contact: Melanie Alexander
Organization: Muscatine Art Center
Phone Number: 563-263-8282
 
Valentine’s Day in the “Doghouse” at the Muscatine Art Center
 
Local groups are creatively re-imagining Snoopy’s doghouse as a fundraiser for the Friends of the Muscatine Art Center. Charlie Brown and the whole gang star in the Muscatine Art Center’s current exhibition, Peanuts…Naturally, which is the inspiration for the event. The public is invited to vote for their favorite doghouse during regular hours from February 7th – 12th. Voting concludes at the free event, “A Charlie Brown…Valentine”, on February 12th from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
 
“The Valentine’s event on February 12th is a push to bring in local families while the Peanuts…Naturally exhibition is still on view,” states Muscatine Art Center Director, Melanie Alexander. “Visitors of all ages have enjoyed the comic strips and interactive stations. While we hope many will join us for the event, we encourage everyone to explore the exhibition and vote for their favorite doghouse during the week of February 7th. General admission is always free.”
 
“A Charlie Brown…Valentine” is a family-friendly event with a variety of crafts and the chance to bid on and/or purchase Peanuts and Valentine’s themed treats. Coins and bills will count towards the vote for the People’s Choice Award for the doghouse competition. All proceeds benefit Friends of the Muscatine Art Center, a non-profit organization that supports educational programs at the Art Center.
 
Peanuts… Naturally takes a light-hearted look at Charles Schulz’s exploration of the natural world through Peanuts comic strips, videos, objects, and interactive stations. Visitors get a Peanuts-eye view of the universe, “web of nature,” trees, birds, the elements (snow, wind, rain, and clouds), gardening, and Charlie Brown’s EPA escapade. Activity stations allow kids of all ages, from pre-school to adults, to learn more about and appreciate the wonders of the natural world. The exhibition will close at the Muscatine Art Center on February 26th.  
 
 
The Muscatine Art Center is located at 1314 Mulberry Avenue in Muscatine, Iowa. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday evenings until 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Donations are appreciated. Visit www.muscatineartcenter.org for more information about programs and events and to download a class brochure.
 
Peanuts… Naturally is organized and toured by the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center, Santa Rosa, California. 




Join the fun with our next Friends of the Muscatine Art Center fundraiser.


The Friends organization is a non-profit supporting the educational programs at the Muscatine Art Center. We are introducing some family-friendly fun into our February 2017 fundraiser! Local businesses, schools, youth groups, and non-profits are being asked to sponsor and decorate a Snoopy Dog House to be display in the Peanuts… Naturally exhibition at the Muscatine Art Center. Participants are encouraged to make use of their school colors/mascots, logos, and other branding features.

The public will be asked to use coins and dollars to vote during the week of February 6, 2017. Coin collections count towards the People’s Choice Award, and dollar bill totals will count for the “In the Dog House” Award with the winning business leader, school principal, manager, etc. posing in a Snoopy costume. All participants can keep (or choose to donate to the place of their choice) their Snoopy Dog House after the competition concludes on February 12th with the Charlie Brown Valentine event at the Muscatine Art Center. Admission to the event is free, and winners of the People’s Choice Award and the “In the Dog House” Award will be announced at the event. During the event from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., families will enjoy crafts and a bake sale featuring Peanuts themed snacks.

To participate, please fill out the form below. For-profit businesses provide a $40 participation fee while schools and non-profits provide a $15 fee. The cardboard dog house can be picked up as soon as the fee is received. All decorated Snoopy Dog Houses need to be delivered to the Muscatine Art Center by 2 p.m. on February 3rd. Please obtain permission from your business owner/manager, school administrator, non-profit director before listing him or her to compete for the “In the Dog House” Award. The winner of the “In the Dog House” Award should be prepared to appear before his or her staff, students, public in the Snoopy Costume and have his or her photo posted.

Please call Melanie Alexander at 563-263-8282 or email malexander@muscatineiowa.gov for more details.
We are asking for a commitment by January 20th. Thank you for your consideration!


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Name/Business________________________________________________________________________________

Address______________________________________________________________________________________

City__________________________________________________________State__________________Zip_______

Phone__________________________________ E-Mail_______________________________________________

Individual competing for the “In the Dog House” Award: _____________________________________________ 
   
Participation fee checks should be made payable to and mailed to: Friends of the Muscatine Art Center, 1314 Mulberry Avenue, Muscatine, IA 52761.
 



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Date: November 28, 2016
Contact: Melanie Alexander
Organization: Muscatine Art Center
Phone Number: 563-263-8282
 
Muscatine Art Center Prepares for Holiday Fun
 
Although the Musser House continues to be closed for facility upgrades, the staff at the Muscatine Art Center is busy preparing for holiday events. The annual event, Sunday with Santa, is set for December 4th, and the Friends’ holiday fundraiser, Delights of December, includes live music and a festival meal on December 17th.
 
According to Muscatine Art Center Director, Melanie Alexander, “2016 has presented some special challenges, but I continue to be impressed with the creativity of the staff and the Friends board as they re-think the events.”
 
Sunday with Santa is a free event sponsored by First National Bank of Muscatine, CBI Bank & Trust, and the Community Bank of Muscatine. Due to the closure of the Musser House and construction in the studio, the craft project will be offered in the Peanuts… Naturally exhibition where Santa will also visit with children. The December 4th event begins at 1:30 p.m. with pictures with Santa from 2 to 4 p.m. Families are encouraged to bring their own cameras.
 
The Friends of the Muscatine Art Center are offering the new event, Delights of December, at the Orange Street Theater. “This is the first year in a long time that a Friends’ fundraiser has been held at a venue other than the Art Center,” explains Alexander. “The Friends board found the silver lining in our facility upgrade project. The Music Room in the Musser House is far too small to accommodate a big band group like the Rod Pierson Band so it is the perfect year to try an alternative location.”
 
Delights of December includes a catered meal followed by dancing. The event runs from 6 to 10 p.m. on December 17th. Tickets are $45 each with registration taken by calling the Muscatine Art Center at 563-263-8282. Reservations are secured with payment on a first-come basis through December 12th.
Through February 26, 2017, people of all ages can view the Peanuts… Naturally exhibition in the Stanley Gallery at Muscatine Art Center. Admission to the exhibition is by donation. Peanuts… Naturally takes a light-hearted look at Charles Schulz’s exploration of the natural world through Peanuts comic strips, videos, objects, and interactive stations. Visitors get a Peanuts-eye view of the universe, “web of nature,” trees, birds, the elements (snow, wind, rain, and clouds), gardening, and Charlie Brown’s EPA escapade. Activity stations allow kids of all ages, from pre-school to adults, to learn more about and appreciate the wonders of the natural world. Peanuts… Naturally is organized and toured by the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center, Santa Rosa, California.
 
The Muscatine Art Center is located at 1314 Mulberry Avenue in Muscatine, Iowa. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday evenings until 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Visit www.muscatineartcenter.org for more information about programs and events and to download a class brochure. 



 





 



Friends of the Muscatine Art Center Announce Special Event, “For the Love of Art Pottery”, to be Held on October 16, 2016
CONTACT:  Melanie Alexander, Director, 563-263-8282 or malexander@muscatineiowa.gov
 
About the Iowa Art Pottery Association

Over 30 years ago, Mark and Marie Latta began a hobby that turned the couple into fervent collectors, occupying their free time and consuming the free space in their home. The Latta’s collection of American Art Pottery is nationally known among collectors, and now they are opening the doors to their home for an event to benefit the Friends of the Muscatine Art Center.

Participants will view the vast collection including rare and unusual pieces made by Weller, Rookwood, and Roseville. The couple will give a tour and lead discussions on the companies represented in their collection. Mark Latta co-presented the seminar, “Collecting 101”, with Riley Hunter, who has been an appraiser for Antiques Roadshow, at the American Art Pottery Association Convention. He has also presented on Rookwood pottery at the Museum of Danish America and on Weller pottery at the “Antiques Spectacular” in the Quad Cities.

Mark and Marie Latta hosted the introductory meeting of the Iowa Art Pottery Association in August 1999. The couple continues to be active in the group as well as national pottery associations.

The event on Sunday, October 16th is intended for adult learners with or without previous knowledge of American Art Pottery. The Ladies of Note piano quartet will provide entertainment, and the Friends of the Muscatine Art Center will serve coffee, tea, and refreshments. Registration is $25 per person. Space is very limited, and reservations are taken on a first-come, first-served basis. 

The Muscatine Art Center is located at 1314 Mulberry Avenue in Muscatine, Iowa. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday evenings until 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Donations are appreciated. Visit www.muscatineartcenter.org for more information about programs and events and to download a class brochure. 

 



August 30, 2016:
 

Friends of the Muscatine Art Center Presents Tour of Artist Studios, Artist Booths, and Silent Auction of “Re-Imagined” Doors & Windows on Sunday, September 18th
CONTACT:  Melanie Alexander, Director, 563-263-8282 or malexander@muscatineiowa.gov
 
The Friends of the Muscatine Art Center are selling tickets to a one-of-a-kind event on Sunday, September 18th from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Muscatine artists, Jon Fasanelli-Cawelti and John Deason, are opening their studios to ticket holders from 1 to 3 p.m. The studio tours are a compliment to the activities taking place at the Muscatine Art Center. In the Stanley Gallery, four area artists – Carol Steinmetz, Tony Ledtje, Bao Pham, and Joe Barnard – will set up booths to showcase their work, and some will offer demonstrations. The event also marks the last hours to bid on the objects created for the “(re)imagined: Second Time Around Doors and Windows” exhibition.

“The ‘(re)imagined’ exhibition features unique creations built by local craftsman and crafters. Each piece has been made from at least one old door or window,” explains Muscatine Art Center Director, Melanie Alexander. “I am impressed by the imagination of everyone who participated.”

Sixteen creations make up the exhibition including a wine rack with a marble countertop, a seated arbor, a headboard made from two doors, a hanging chess board, a raised-bed planter, and a pantry cabinet.

“The staff and Friends board have been delighted to see each new creation,” continues Alexander. “The projects are all so different, ranging from rustic to highly polished.” Those contributing to the exhibition are Flowers on the Avenue, Lonnie Sulzberger, Tim Newton, Sandra Hallett, Jackson Allen, Joe Van Zandt, Beth Van Zandt, Bob Kenyon, Lynn Bartenhagen, Virginia Cooper, Pat Carver, and Melanie Alexander.

“The whole staff got involved with this one. We had over a dozen doors and windows leftover from previous Friends’ events, and we no longer had storage with the facility upgrade currently taking place,” states Alexander. “Everyone had their own ideas, and we extended the challenge to other crafters in the area.”

The “(re)imagined” exhibition is on view now, and bids are accepted during the Muscatine Art Center’s regular hours, through 4 p.m. on Sunday, September 18th. Event tickets are $10 each and can be purchased at the Muscatine Art Center. The ticket provides entry to the studio tours, as well as the reception and other activities.

About the Artists:
Jon Fasanelli-Cawelti studied printmaking and worked as personal assistant and printer for Mauricio Lasansky, from 1985 to 1998, in his Iowa City studio. Since his departure from Iowa City in 1998, he has resided in Muscatine, Iowa, continuing to print from his private studio.
John Deason has been a photographer for 40 years. Deason earned his MFA in photography at the University of Iowa in 1997 and has been a member of the art department at Augustana College. He lives in Muscatine, Iowa, where he is retired from teaching English and photography at the High School level. His studio is chockfull of antique printing equipment used to make art posters, cards, and booklets.

Carol Steinmetz is known for her florals, landscapes, old barns, and Muscatine-area buildings.  Carol is a signature member of the Iowa Watercolor Society and other regional artists organizations. She previously taught adult education classes at Muscatine Community College.

Tony Ledtje, a studio potter since 1972, also creates painted paper collages. He uses hand-building techniques to create one-of-a-kind pieces.

Joe Barnard uses pencil, pastel, and engraving on stone and other materials to create portraits and depictions of local landmarks. Barnard’s artistic career spans over 25 years.

Bao Pham is a digital painter and illustrator currently living in rural Muscatine. Pham also creates traditional still-life oil paintings.

Booths by Steinmetz, Ledtje, Barnard, and Pham will be open from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Addresses for the studios of Jon Fasanelli-Cawelti and John Deason are printed on the ticket. Studios are open from 1 to 3 p.m. Additional event details will be updated on the Muscatine Art  Center’s website, www.muscatineartcenter.org and on its facebook page.

The Muscatine Art Center is located at 1314 Mulberry Avenue in Muscatine, Iowa. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday evenings until 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Donations are appreciated. Visit www.muscatineartcenter.org for more information about programs and events and to download a class brochure. 






 


Mississippi River Views from the Muscatine Art Center Collection

At the Figge Art Museum in Davenport Iowa


From the first Europeans who explored the interior of the continent to artists and writers through the years, Americans have long been fascinated by the “Big River”—the Mississippi. 

Mississippi River Views  includes a collection of 60 paintings, drawings, maps and other river-related works from the collection of the Muscatine Art Center, whose Musser Mansion is undergoing mechanical upgrades. Beginning with a rare map from 1680 by Nicholaes Visscher, the exhibition includes drawings made on the river by Seth Eastman in the 1830s, and paintings of the river from the 1850s to the present day. 

Also featured are paintings and prints of riverboats, along with a model of the paddlewheeler River Queen, and early views of Muscatine, Davenport and Moline and Fort Armstrong.
 
On view from February 6 through June 5, 2016.


 



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 2015 
 
Thursday Evening Program: The Weyerhaeusers and Mussers
In the Music Room at the Muscatine Art Center
Thursday, November 5, 2015 from 5:30-6:30 p.m.
FREE ADMISSION
 
Historian Tom Rasmussen and author Judith Healy will present “The Weyerhaeusers and the Mussers,” explaining the important relationship between Peter Musser and Frederick Weyerhaeuser both as partners in the lumber business and good friends. The program, held on Thursday, November 5th at 5:30 p.m. in the Art Center’s Music Room, is free and open to the public.
Tom Rasmussen is the great-great grandson of Sarah and Frederick Weyerhaeuser and has completed extensive personal research on the Weyerhaeuser family and Judith Healy is the author of the book, Frederick Weyerhaeuser and the American West (2013). Using amazing photographs of bygone days, of forests and villages and family celebrations, Rasmussen and Healy will present the story of these two self-made timbermen both of whom were as much family men as business men.
The history of Frederick Weyerhaeuser is also the history of the settling of the Midwest. A towering figure of the later decades of the 1800s, Frederick Weyerhaeuser made his fortune by founding and growing a timber business that depended on the mighty Mississippi. Although he made his home in Rock Island, his business affected the Iowa side of the border as much as the Illinois side, and all was fed by the timber his men took out of the Wisconsin forests.
In the book, Frederick Weyerhaeuser and the American West, Judith Healey presents Weyerhaeuser as a successful businessman and family man. With only six years of formal schooling himself, Weyerhaeuser sent his children to eastern colleges, and in his later years, became a philanthropist who generously supported projects locally and in his native German village.
Peter Musser was one of Muscatine’s leading citizens. Born in Pennsylvania of Swiss and English parentage, his connection with the Iowa lumber trade began in the early 1870s. Musser was head of a saw mill which produced 40 million feet of lumber annually. He was also a large holder of Minnesota and Wisconsin timber lands and an active logging trader. Throughout the northwest, he was known for his farsighted business judgment.
In his northern ventures, Peter Musser was an associate of Frederick Weyerhaeuser, whose pioneer enterprise in timber tracts along the upper Mississippi and its tributaries made him nationally known as “Lumber King of the Northwest.” Musser and Weyerhaeuser jointly located their two sons – Drew Musser and Charles Weyerhaeuser – in Little Falls, Minnesota to run a lumber operation. The two sons built mansion side-by-side – today, both homes are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Weyerhaeuser mansion is open as the Linden Hill Historic Museum.
The program on November 5th is free and open to the public. Reservations are not required. Please contact Melanie Alexander, Director, with any questions or concerns at 563-263-8282 or by email at malexander@muscatineiowa.gov.
The Muscatine Art Center is located at 1314 Mulberry Avenue in Muscatine, Iowa. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday evenings until 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free. Donations are appreciated. Visit www.muscatineartcenter.org for more information about programs and events and to download a class brochure.

 
        
 



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 2015
 
Noon Program: “Linden Hill”, Little Falls, MN: Home of Drew Musser and Charles Weyerhaeuser
Speakers: Karen and Denis Dolan, Volunteers with Linden Hill
In the Music Room at the Muscatine Art Center
Thursday, October 22, 2015 from Noon to 1 p.m.
FREE ADMISSION
 
Built in 1898, the neighboring homes of Charles A. Weyerhaeuser and Richard "Drew" Musser are physical reminders of the "Lumber Era" in Minnesota. Linden Hill volunteers, Karen and Denis Dolan, will present on the homes which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The nine-acre estate, including both homes, was used by the Musser family until 20 years ago, and is now an event center run by the non-profit Friends of Linden Hill. The group host weddings, receptions, teas, retreats, Christmas tours, and other special occasions throughout the year. Visitors can even stay overnight in the bedrooms in the beautiful Musser mansion.
Laura Musser McColm frequently visited her brother Drew and his family at Linden Hill. Her journal describes family gatherings in Minnesota: “Wednesday, January 1, 1936 - A very pleasant day in my brother’s home. Mary & “Lotsie” at home for the holidays. Sarah dear, so kind to me and Drew such a wonderful brother make me feel very much at home and I do love to be with them…. Sarah & Drew had twenty people in the welcome the New Year.  We had a jolly time.”
The Musser family began calling the estate "Linden Hill" in the 1920s, because of the many linden, or basswood, trees on the property. One of the Linden Hill homes - the white Musser Mansion - had been virtually closed off after Drew Musser's death in 1958. When it was reopened decades later, his toothbrush and razor were still in place in the bathroom as if still waiting for Mr. Musser's return. Most of the furniture and furnishings remain intact and undamaged, making it a living example of life for the upper class in the area during the early 20th century.
The program on October 22nd is free and open to the public. Reservations are not required. Please contact Melanie Alexander, Director, with any questions or concerns at 563-263-8282 or by email at malexander@muscatineiowa.gov.
The Muscatine Art Center is located at 1314 Mulberry Avenue in Muscatine, Iowa. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday evenings until 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free. Donations are appreciated. Visit www.muscatineartcenter.org for more information about programs and events and to download a class brochure.  



 






 

 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 14, 2015
 
Presentation: “Laura Musser & Her Legacy” by Melanie Alexander
The Muscatine Art Center’s Music Room
Thursday, September 24th at 5:30 p.m.
FREE ADMISSION
 
Join Muscatine Art Center Director, Melanie Alexander, for an exploration of the life and legacy of Laura Musser
McColm Atkins. The presentation, “Laura Musser & Her Legacy”, is offered as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Laura Musser Art Gallery & Museum, later named the Muscatine Art Center. Photographs of Laura Musser, some rarely on view, will be woven into the free presentation offered on September 24th at 5:30 p.m.

Details about Laura Musser’s family, her marriage to Edwin McColm, her involvement in the McColm Dry Goods Store, and her second marriage to William T. Atkins of Kansas City will be shared. Through oral histories given by Laura’s domestic servants, the daytoday operations of the households as well as the individual experiences as a member of Laura’s staff will be highlighted. The presentation also includes photographs of clothing belonging to Laura Musser and a discussion of the artwork that captured Laura’s likeness during her lifetime.

The Muscatine Art Center’s collection includes the locally wellknown portrait by Thomas Riss painted from a
photograph taken by Oscar Grossheim as well as a marble statue bust of Laura as child created by sculptor George Grey
Barnard and a bronze relief bust of Laura as a young lady.
Quotes from Laura Musser’s journals from 1936 and 1937 will illustrate how she spent her days in the time period
between the passing of her first husband and her second marriage. Laura’s words capture the degree to which she took responsibility for the operations of the McColm Dry Goods Store/Laurel Building, her fondness for her family (and especially her close connection to her brother Drew who lived in Little Falls, Minnesota), and her compassion for many individuals and families in Muscatine.

Director Melanie Alexander’s talk is the first in a series of programs about the Musser family and their connections. On October 22, 2015 at noon, volunteers from Linden Hill, the home of Laura’s brother Drew, will present on Drew Musser, his family, and his connection to his next door neighbor, Charles Weyerhaeuser. Charles and Drew both built mansion which are today listed on the National Register of Historic Places – the Weyerhaeuser mansion is open as the Linden Hill Historic Museum. Peter Musser and Frederick Weyerhaeuser, fathers of the Drew and Charles, had been business partners and friends back in the Muscatine/Quad Cities area. On November 5, 2015 at 5:30 p.m., historian Tom Rasmussen and author Judith Healy will present on the important relationship between Peter Musser and Frederick Weyerhaeuser.

All programs are free and open to the public. Reservations are not required.
Please contact Melanie Alexander, Director, with any questions or concerns at 5632638282
or by email at malexander@muscatineiowa.gov.

The Muscatine Art Center is located at 1314 Mulberry Avenue in Muscatine, Iowa. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday evenings until 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free. Donations are appreciated. Visit www.muscatineartcenter.org for more information about programs and events and to download a class brochure.


 



June 2015
 
CONTACT:  Melanie Alexander, Director 563-263-8282 or malexander@muscatineiowa.gov
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
 
Concert: The Alex Murphy Jazz Trio
The Muscatine Art Center’s Music Room
Thursday, June 18th at 5:30 p.m.
FREE ADMISSION
 
The Muscatine Art Center is pleased to present the Alex Murphy Jazz Trio. The trio consists of three very talented young musicians from St. Charles, Illinois: their leader Alex Murphy on the piano, Mary Halm on the bass, and Zac Nunnery on the guitar.  The three met while attending Charles East High School and quickly discovered they were drawn to jazz. In great demand, they have been working the last couple of years in restaurants and private parties in the Fox Valley area. They specialize in both the jazz standards and original compositions. 
 
Alex Murphy has been immersed in music his entire life as the son of a professional musician and arts manager.  One of his first experiences with jazz was meeting George Shearing and Marion McPartland as a small child.  Alex has studied piano since age six and currently teaches and is an accomplished accompanist.  He recently collaborated with his dad on a recital of music for Horn and Piano.  Alex will be continuing his education at DePaul University this fall in Jazz Studies.
 
Mary Halm began studying classical bass in second grade and began playing jazz in High School.  Mary will also be attending DePaul University in the Jazz Studies program this fall.
 
Zac Nunnery just completed his first year at DePaul University studying guitar in the Jazz Studies program.  While at DePaul, he has begun playing in the Chicago music scene in addition to his work with Alex and Mary.
 
The group will perform in the Art Center’s Music Room on Thursday, June 18th beginning at 5:30 p.m. There is no charge for admission.
 
Please contact Melanie Alexander, Director, with any questions or concerns at 563-263-8282 or by email at malexander@muscatineiowa.gov.
 
The Muscatine Art Center is located at 1314 Mulberry Avenue in Muscatine, Iowa. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday evenings until 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free. Donations are appreciated. Visit www.muscatineartcenter.org for more information about programs and events and to download a class brochure.
 
          



 



 
June 2015
 
New Exhibition: “Pedal Power: Bicycles from the Collection of Charlie Harper”
June 4 through August 2, 2015
Stanley Gallery at the Muscatine Art Center
FREE ADMISSION
 

In 1966, Charlie Harper purchased Zeug Garage & Cycle Shop, located at 111 Chestnut Street in Muscatine, Iowa. The shop sold bicycles, motorcycles, accessories, and supplies and provided bike, small engine, and automobile repair and has been located at 1106 Grandview Avenue since 1974. Today, Harper’s Cycling is operated by Charlie, his son Greg, and several grandsons and the business offers new bike sales, reconditioned and rebuilt bikes, repair service and a large line of accessories and supplies.

Charlie Harper purchased his first “antique” bike in the early 1980s when a Florida museum closed and was disposing of its collections. This purchase spurred him to continue collecting and he remains an avid collector today.

The exhibit “Pedal Power: Bicycles from the Collection of Charlie Harper” features 26 bicycles dating from 1886 to 1979. Among the earliest bicycles in Charlie’s collection are the ‘highwheelers’, dating to the late 1880s. An 1886 Victor Ordinary Bicycle (with a 50” front wheel) by Overman Wheel Co. and an 1888 Columbia Expert Bicycle by Pope Manufacturing Co. are among the oldest featured in the exhibition.

The exhibition documents the changing technology and design of American bicycles. Charlie’s collection includes a 1939 Ladies Mead Ranger, the “Cadillac of Bikes”- a 1953 Black Phantom boy’s bicycle, and a 1962 Cycle Truck. Antique bike accessories and equipment round out the exhibition, including lights and lamps, horns, saddles or seats, tires and wheels and bicyclist’s tools.

The exhibition opens on June 4th and runs through August 2nd in the Stanley Gallery.

Events:
Guided Tour of the Exhibition with Charlie Harper
Thursday, June 11th and Thursday, July 9th from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Join Charlie Harper for a bike by bike discussion of his amazing collection.
 
Bicycling Through History: Iowa’s Love Affair with Two-Wheeled Travel by Leo Landis
Thursday, July 16th from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Leo Landis, Curator for the State Historical Museum of Iowa, will present this fun talk.

Please contact Melanie Alexander, Director, with any questions or concerns at 563-263-8282 or by email at malexander@muscatineiowa.gov.

The Muscatine Art Center is located at 1314 Mulberry Avenue in Muscatine, Iowa. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday evenings until 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free. Donations are appreciated. Visit www.muscatineartcenter.org for more information about programs and events and to download a class brochure. 


This exhibition includes a loan from the Legacies for Iowa: A University of Iowa Museum of Art Collections Sharing Project, Supported by the Matthew Bucksbaum Family.



 



May 2015

“Older than the State of Iowa” is one boast the Muscatine Journal can make. The paper began in 1840 as the “Bloomington Herald” and has documented the local response as national events, changes in transportation and technology, and politics, including statehood itself, have touched the lives of people living in this community. The change of the City’s name from Bloomington to Muscatine in 1849 brought about a new name for the paper as it became the “Muscatine Journal”.
 
The exhibition marking the 175th anniversary of the paper includes an interesting chronology with Orion Clemens purchasing an interest in the Journal in 1853 and the first issue of the “Daily Journal” in 1855. The exhibition will include artifacts related to photography, printing processes, special editions, and facility changes.  175 Years of the Muscatine Journal will be on view in the Musser Mansion Gallery from June 4 through July 30, 2015.


 



FOR RELEASE: May 2015
 
Muscatine Art Center’s collections were significantly enriched by a gift of twenty-seven works of art by Matisse, Toulouse-Lautrec, Degas, Chagall, Renoir, Signac, Duffy, Laurencin and other European artists. The collection was a gift in 1992 from the estate of Mary Musser Gilmore in honor of her parents, Richard Drew Musser and Sarah Walker Musser.
 
This spring, the Muscatine Art Center welcomes Carol Ehlers, art history speaker, to present a lecture featuring Henri Matisse's Later Life: The Cutouts. View the artwork of Matisse that is part of the Muscatine Art Center collection. The lecture will be held on May 21, 2015, the third Thursday of the month and will be begin promptly at 5:30 pm. These lectures are FREE and open to the public.
 
Third Thursday, May 21, 2015 -- Henri Matisse's Later Life: The Cutouts
Henri Matisse is recognized as one of the great artists of the twentieth century due to a personal goal of the perfect synthesis of line and color. The program will include an introduction of the recognized works during his life time as he moves from the styles and subjects of pointillism, fauvism, odalisque, decorative arts, dance, and music. Later in life, Matisse relates how fauvism affected his cutouts.
 
Matisse did not originally see the cutouts as a medium for artwork but rather the cutouts were used as a process toward the final works. The talk includes information about: Dance and Music done for Russian collector Sergey Ivanovich Shchukin; the Dance done for Alfred Barnes; the Large Reclining Nude done for the Cone Sisters; and stage curtain design for Rouge et Noirs
 
In 1937, Tériade published Verve (magazine) and Matisse would use cut outs for covers. It would be Tériade, who encourages and supports Matisse to publish Jazz. The original edition of September 30, 1947 consisted of twenty plates. View the images and learn about the technique used to produce the work.
 
Shortly after Jazz, Matisse agrees to commission to design Chapel of Rosary in Vence, France. Learn about the four years, 1947-1951, of concentrated work to make his dream become reality and culmination of four years of concentrated work on stain glass, murals, and vestments. Today the chapel survives and represents a point that Matisse sees cut-outs as a medium for his artwork.  
 
1952 was one of the most productive years for Matisse. The Sorrow of the King, Blue Nudes, Snail, Swimming Pool, Sheaf and other large scale cutouts will be presented with background information.
 
For Matisse's last fourteen years of his life or his second life, he found renewed and unexpected energies creating breathtaking new work called the cutouts.  Matisse died on November 3, 1954.

EVENT DETAILS:
What: “Henri Matisse's Later Life: The Cutouts
Who: Carol Ehlers
When:Thursday, May 21, 2015
Time: 5:30 PM
Where: The Muscatine Art Center’s Music Room
Admission to these programs is FREE.
 
Please contact Melanie Alexander, Director, with any questions or concerns at
563-263-8282 or by email at malexander@muscatineiowa.gov.
 
The Muscatine Art Center is located at 1314 Mulberry Avenue in Muscatine, Iowa. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday evenings until 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free. Donations are appreciated. Go to www.muscatineartcenter.org for more information about programs and events and to download a class brochure. 

 



April 2015

The Muscatine Art Center is pleased to present the Iowa Watercolor Society Annual Traveling Show for
2014 – 2015. This exhibit includes this year’s top five award winning paintings, as well as, Best Translucent Watercolor, and five Honorable Mentions.  There are a total of 31 watercolor paintings in the show representing the work of 29 Iowa artists.   Internationally known artist Carol Carter, from St. Louis, Mo, juried and judged this year’s annual competition that was held in West Des Moines, Ia.   There were 142 entries for this year’s juried show, of these, sixty-one where chosen for the Annual Show.  Carol Carter chose the eleven award winners and twenty additional paintings for the traveling show.  One can truly say the Iowa Watercolor Society Traveling Show is the best of the best.
 
The Iowa Watercolor Society (IWS) is an organization made up of beginning, amateur and professional artists.  The only requirement for membership is an interest in watercolor painting.  The IWS was organized in 1977 by a group of devoted artists that loved watercolor painting.  They were led by Joe Messner of Cedar Rapids.  Each year the organization holds an annual meeting, an annual juried show and one or two watercolor workshops.  The organizations primary purpose is to promote and support the arts in Iowa with an emphasis on watercolor painting.
 
The exhibit will be on display in the Musser Mansion Gallery from April 26 to May 22, 2015.
 
Please contact Melanie Alexander, Director, with any questions or concerns at 563-263-8282 or by email at malexander@muscatineiowa.gov.
 
The Muscatine Art Center is located at 1314 Mulberry Avenue in Muscatine, Iowa. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday evenings until 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free. Donations are appreciated. Visit www.muscatineartcenter.org for more information about programs and events and to download a class brochure. 


Februrary 2015
 
Exhibit: Cylinder & Disc Music Boxes
Exhibit dates:  January 22 through March 22, 2015
Program: Cylinder & Disc Music Boxes by Brian Walter on Thursday, February 12 at 5:15 p.m.
 
The Laura Musser Mansion Small Gallery now features the second in its series of music box exhibits from the private collection of Brian Walter and the Art Center’s permanent collection. This second series highlights the history and chronology of “Cylinder” & “Disc” music boxes from the 1870-1900 era.
 
A “Cylinder & Disc Music Box” program will be presented by Brian Walter, at 5:15 on Thursday, February 12, 2015.
 
The period of 1870 to 1890 was the height of production for cylinder music boxes. The cylinder music box provided live music without performers and the sound it produced was very much like a group of harpists or a hand bell choir. Extensively inlaid cases and multiple cylinders (which included ‘shifting’ and ‘removable’ cylinders) mark this era as the most technically challenging period for cylinder type manufacturing.


The development of the first interchangeable disc music boxes in 1886, made it even easier and less expensive to add tunes. These “Symphonion” boxes were originally made in Leipzig, Germany and were destined to become some of the greatest music boxes ever known. Even this innovative design which accepted individual tune discs (allowing one music box to play multiple tunes), could not save the cylinder music box companies, as many were forced out of business due to increased sales and aggressive marketing of the new disc music boxes.
Other music box makers caught on to the new disc technology and began building their own masterpieces: most notably “Polyphon” in Germany and “Regina” in the United States. By 1900, the “Gramophone” (or record player) had replaced disc music boxes, due to lower price and greater variety of music available. 


EVENT DETAILS:
What: “Cylinder & Disc Music Boxes” Program
Who: Brian Walter
When: Thursday, February 12, 2014
Time: 5:15 PM
Where: The Muscatine Art Center’s Music Room
Admission to this program is FREE.
 
Please contact Melanie Alexander, Director, with any questions or concerns at 563-263-8282 or by email at malexander@muscatineiowa.gov.
 
The Muscatine Art Center is located at 1314 Mulberry Avenue in Muscatine, Iowa. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday evenings until 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free. Donations are appreciated. Visit www.muscatineartcenter.org for more information about programs and events and to download a class brochure. 


 




 




FOR RELEASE October 22, 2014
 
Muscatine Art Center’s collections were significantly enriched by a gift of art by Georgia O'Keeffe. White Lotus was given in honor of Elizabeth Mabel Holthues Stanley by her family. O'Keeffe created this work in 1939 while working in Hawaii on a commission from the Hawaiian Pineapple Company (shortly thereafter known as Dole Company). White Lotus recently traveled to Honolulu and Santa Fe to be exhibited with works by O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams. The painting has now returned to Muscatine and will be on display during the art talk about O'Keeffe.
 
Art History Speaker, Carol Ehlers will present “Georgia O'Keeffe: A Sense of Place” on November 13, the third Thursday of the month. The lecture will begin promptly at 5:30 p.m. in the Muscatine Art Center’s Music Room. The lecture will feature images of O’Keeffe’s work as well as photos from her life from 1929 to 1986. The lecture is FREE and open to the public.
 
Beginning in 1929, Georgia O'Keeffe began spending part of almost every year painting in New Mexico, first in Taos and later in and about Alcaide, Abiguiu, and Ghost Ranch. Her early subjects in New Mexico were the black crosses of the Penitentes. After her second and third trip to New Mexico, O'Keeffe returned home to the East Coast with an assortment of bone and skulls. Later she captured scenes of the vastness and beauty of the landscapes of New Mexico.
 
Photo images of O’Keeffe’s New Mexico homes tell the compelling story of her life in New Mexico with each home satisfying different aspects of the artist's personal life. From these homes, she created paintings of the houses, surrounding landscape forms, and specific architectural components of the Abiquiu house. Her houses in New Mexico became essential elements in her painting. Ghost Ranch was isolated and gave her immediate access to the natural world. The Abiquiu house perched on a bluff overlooking the Chama River Valley made it possible for O'Keeffe to live more comfortably in the winter in New Mexico. Both houses are characterized by simple furnishing and minimalist esthetics.
 
By 1938, Dole Company invited O'Keeffe to the islands of Hawaii as its guest and, in exchange, requested two paintings of unspecified subjects for use in a national magazine advertising campaign. The Muscatine Art Center's White Lotus was one of the painting she created from Hawaii.
 
Georgia O’Keeffe: A Sense of Place
EVENT DETAILS:
What: “Georgia O'Keeffe: A Sense of Place” Lecture on her later life - Thursday, November 13
Who: Carol Ehlers
When: Third Thursday, November 13
Time: 5:30 PM
Where: The Muscatine Art Center’s Music Room
Admission to this lecture is FREE.
 
Please contact Melanie Alexander, Director, with any questions or concerns at  563-263-8282 or by email at malexander@muscatineiowa.gov or www.muscatineartcenter.org
 
The Muscatine Art Center is located at 1314 Mulberry Avenue in Muscatine, Iowa. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday evenings until 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free. Donations are appreciated. Go to www.muscatineartcenter.org for more information about programs and events and to download a class brochure.

 

 




Railroad "Share your Stories"  Show and Tell with Bill Lindsay


October 14, 2014

CONTACT:  Melanie Alexander, Director                                FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Telephone: (563) 263-8282
Email: malexander@muscatineiowa.gov
 
 
What do the towns of Summit, Bayfield, Adams, Black Bass, Garden City and Madera have in common? They were all long ago stops on railroads in Muscatine County. Join local railroad enthusiast, Bill Lindsay, for a Railroad “Share your Stories” Show and Tell in conjunction with the exhibition, “Railroads of Muscatine County”. Participants are encouraged to bring railroad related items and stories to share. The event will be held on Sunday, October 19, 2014 from 2:00 – 4:00 PM at the Muscatine Art Center. Admission is FREE.
 
Learn how Summit was on the original Rock Island main line from Wilton Junction that ran into Muscatine. The town had a depot, stock yards and a store. Bayfield (yes it was on Bayfield road) was on the Burlington, Cedar Rapids and Northern branch that ran from Nichols to Muscatine through the Heinz property. Adams was further west from Bayfield and also had a small depot. Black Bass and Garden City were one in the same. 
 
Discover interesting tidbits about the local railroad and share your own stories! Do you have a great piece of history you would like to share with other railroad fans? Do you have a mysterious railroad-related item in your collection? Bring it with you, and perhaps Bill Lindsay can share some information about your item.
 
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.
 
Please contact Melanie Alexander, Director, with any questions at 563-263-8282 or by email atmalexander@muscatineiowa.gov .


 



Great Muscatine Journal Article on Mr. B's Joybox Express!
 




Mr. B’s Joybox Express Boogie Woogie Parade & Concert

Sunday, September 28th from 1:30 to 4:00 p.m. at the Muscatine Art Center

 
[MUSCATINE, IOWA] – The Muscatine Art Center and the Friends of the Muscatine Art Center are pleased to announce that they are hosting Mr. B’s Joybox Express on September 28th & 29th. Combining athleticism and artistry, Mr. B’s Joybox Express is fronted by Mark “Mr. B” Braun, an internationally recognized jazz and blue pianist. Produced by Artrain, Inc., this epic 2,000-mile, 90-day trek began on September 1st at the Mississippi River headwaters in Minnesota and will conclude in New Orleans, Louisiana in December. Along the way the Mr. B’s Joybox Express is stopping in cities, towns and villages to perform, educate and inspire blues, jazz and cycling appreciation.

Mr-b-Poster
 
The Friends of the Muscatine Art Center invite everyone to enjoy the fun, family-friendly, festive street parade on Sunday, September 28th. Starting at 1:30 p.m., the Muscatine chapter of Pilot Club International will present “Brain Minders”, a puppet show that teaches children about brain safety, wearing a helmet, looking both ways, using a car seat, and wearing a seat belt. “Brain Minders” is a signature program of Pilot International.  The 15-minute puppet show will be held in the E. Bradford Burns Performing Art Park, located just west of the Musser Mansion.
 
From 1:45 to 2:30 p.m., children and families can prepare for the Boogie Woogie Parade by decorating their bikes, scooters or strollers and kids can make paper bag hats and noise makers. The craft projects will be set up on the Mulberry lawn of the Muscatine Art Center.
 
At 2:30 p.m., the parade will leave from the Mulberry entrance of the Art Center, travel two blocks to Bartlett and turn onto Cedar Street, then into the Art Center’s Cedar Street parking lot. The Muscatine Art Center’s giant puppet will lead the parade. The staff of the Musser Public Library has made arrangements for “Babymouse” – a popular children’s book character – to join in the fun. Everyone is encouraged to dress in fantastical and outrageous costumes. The parade route can be leisurely walked in 15 or 20 minutes.
 
Following the parade, Mr. B’s Joybox Express will perform on the lawn between the Art Center’s Cedar Street parking lot and the entrance to the Stanley Gallery. The space will be tented with some seating available. People of all ages can enjoy the performance whether or not they chose to participate in the parade and other activities.
 
On Monday, September 29th, Mr. B’s Joybox Express will present an in-school performance targeted to fourth and fifth graders. The Mr. B’s Joybox Express Band will engage students throughout the performance as they explore jazz and blues, physical activity, the geography of the Mississippi River and personal achievement.
 
Mr. B is a rare living link to the first generation of blues and boogie pianists, including the legendary Little Brother Montgomery, Book Woogie Red and Blind John Davis. In demand for both educational programs and concert performances, he has performed coast to coast and throughout Europe, Canada, Mexico and South America. Mr. B, motivated by his own involvement with music and sports, dreamed of putting a piano on a bike and riding it across the country to spread the joy of jazz and blues music while meeting a physical challenge. His dream became a reality when premier bicycle designer Mark Nobilette, whose custom bikes have been chosen by many top-ranked racers and triathletes, built Mr. B’s Joybox Express Piano Bike. Nobilette created a one-of-a-kind bike boasting 27 gears, two chains, shock absorbers, a rear differential, hydraulic disk brakes and a flatbed big enough to hold a 352-pound, full-sized upright piano.
 
Artrain, Inc. is producing the Mr. B’s Joybox Express Mississippi River Road Ride. For more than 40 years Artrain, headquartered in Ann Arbor, MI, has delivered world class arts and cultural exhibitions and education programs to under-resourced communities throughout the United States. Winner of the National Medal for Museum Service, Artrain’s mission is to deliver discovery and – through the power of arts and culture – transform lives, organizations and communities. Originally Artrain was a museum-on-a-train that used America’s rail system to deliver art exhibitions. Today Artrain produces and delivers cultural outreach programs of all types – art, cultural, history, science, environment, etc. – to people in villages, towns and cities through a variety of methods including mobile touring exhibitions and cultural education and engagement programs. Artrain’s current projects include: Mr. B’s Joybox Express, CriticCar Detroit, Infinite Mirror: Images of American Identity, and Paths to Peace: A War of 1812 Arts Legacy Project.
 
Artrain is supported, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and many generous sponsors and donors. Learn more at www.artrainUSA.org or www.joyboxexpress.com.
 
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.
 
Please contact Melanie Alexander, Director, with any questions at 563-263-8282 or by email at malexander@muscatineiowa.gov.
 



 


Grass Between the Rails


August 14, 2014

The Muscatine Art Center has received funding from Humanities Iowa, a private, non-profit state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, to host the presentation, “Grass Between the Rails”, by Denny Rehder at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014, Muscatine Art Center, 1314 Mulberry Avenue, Muscatine. A cultural resource for Iowans since 1971, Humanities Iowa offers many cultural and historical programs and grants to Iowa’s communities. The performance is free and open to the public.

Denny Rehder created this program as an official Iowa Sesquicentennial event in 1996. His appearances around the state have been funded by Humanities Iowa and the National Endowment for the Humanities ever since. This will be his 89th performance.

Rehder has been a musician all his life. He has combined that ability with his love of Iowa history to produce "Grass Between the Rails," a celebration of Iowa's railroad heritage in words and original music. His songs cover the gamut of Iowa railroad history from the race for Council Bluffs to the Burlington Zephyr. Through his music, he visits the worst wreck ever, Iowa’s best-known railroad hero, the road through Paradise, the one elephant circus and his family’s ties to the Illinois Central.

He has been involved in the publication of several books on Iowa history. Four were published by his own Waukon & Mississippi Press, including his first book, "Grass Between the Rails," the history of the Waukon, Iowa, branch of the Milwaukee Road. He also wrote and published “The Shampoo King,” the history of the F. W. Fitch Company and the famous Fitch Bandwagon radio show.

Now retired, he has been a professional writer and photographer for more than fifty years.  His work has received local, regional and national awards. Rehder grew up on a farm near Gladbrook overlooking the Chicago Great Western mainline.

For details, please contact Melanie Alexander, Director, at 563-263-8282.

 


“Muscatine Railroad History” Talk and

 Guided Tour with Bill Lindsay

 

Join local railroad enthusiast, Bill Lindsay, for a talk and guided-tour of the exhibition, “Railroads of Muscatine County”. Bill will share his knowledge of the seven main lines which serviced Muscatine such as the Rock Island Line; Burlington, Cedar Rapids & Northern; Muscatine North & South; and the Muscatine City Railway. This program is FREE.

 This event is coming up on Sunday, July 20, 2014 and Sunday, August 17 from  2:00 – 3:00 PM at the  Muscatine Art Center.  Lindsay will begin in the Music room of the Muscatine Art Center. Admission to this event is FREE.

 




 “Railroads of Muscatine County”
June 29, 2014 – January 25, 2015
 

Since 1855 when the first railroad line was constructed in Muscatine, the City has laid claim to over 35 named railroads. Some helped the City prosper while others were merely proposed or were new names adopted by active railroads as they grew or came out of bankruptcy. The exhibition, “Railroads of Muscatine County”, includes artifacts, photographs, and artwork to explore the histories of the local railroads. Among the railroads features in the exhibition are the Rock Island Lines, the Muscatine City Railway Company, and the Muscatine & Iowa City Railway, which did not survive its first year from incorporation.

“Railroads of Muscatine County” contains interesting facts such as the details that earned the Muscatine, Burlington & Southern Railroad Company the nickname, “The Maimed, Burned & Scalded Railway”. The exhibition features engaging components for the young and the ‘young at heart’ including a toy train table, a step-on caboose, and working “O and S Gauge” model railroads.

The 1850s brought some of the first railroad milestones in the Midwest. The first land grant railroad in the United States was completed with the arrival of the Illinois Central in the area of East Dubuque, Illinois. The first railroad bridge to span the Mississippi River connected Rock Island, Illinois and Davenport, Iowa, and was completed in 1856. President Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railway Act in 1862 to authorize construction of the first transcontinental railroad.

Leaders throughout Iowa recognized that the railroad would be an important tool in transporting goods, raw materials and passengers into and out of their communities. Towns competed with each other to attract railroad lines. Considerable capital and years of planning and constructing were required to launch a new railway line. Mississippi River towns like Muscatine relied on the river for the transportation of goods, but the railway system greatly expanded the town’s ability to quickly reach new markets, especially those to the west.

The supply of fresh produce from the Muscatine Island was a key factor in launching the Muscatine North & South Railroad. There was a constant shortage of railcars to haul produce by the Rock Island System and as a result, produce rotted while waiting for shipment. The Muscatine North & South Railroad incorporated on February 15, 1893 with the first train running on January 20, 1899.

The Muscatine North & South Railroad, like other railroads in the area, faced receivership (corporate bankruptcy), multiple reorganizations, buyouts and breakups of the railway line. Rail lines were marginally profitable, and as better roads and more affordable automobiles were introduced, many rail lines were scrapped. Even the longest-lived lines in Muscatine, such as the Rock Island Lines, underwent consolidations, bankruptcy and buyouts. The Muscatine & Iowa City Railway was the shortest-lived interurban in the State of Iowa, running for only six months in 1916, while other lines were started and abandoned unfinished.

Since 1855 when the first railroad line was constructed in Muscatine, the City has laid claim to over 35 named railroads. Some helped the City prosper while others were merely proposed or were name changes employed by active railroads as they grew or came out of bankruptcy. In the early 1900s, Muscatine had four active railroads, two inter-urbans and a city trolley system.

“Railroads of Muscatine County” opened at the Annual Ice Cream Social on Sunday, June 29th. The exhibition will run through January 25, 2015.

 

 





 





 

Muscatine Art Center Annual Ice Cream Social 

Kick off your Fourth of July celebrations at the Annual Ice Cream Social presented by the Friends of the Muscatine Art Center. The event will be held on Sunday, June 29th from 1 to 5 p.m. As always, there will be plenty of ice cream, desserts, live music, family-friendly fun and an art fair.

Families are encouraged to bike to the Art Center as part of the Family Bike Ride organized by the Melon City Bike Club and Harper’s Cycling & Fitness. The group will depart from Discovery Park at 1 p.m. and will have the option of a short 3-mile round-trip ride or a longer 10-mile ride. Both rides will stop at the Art Center, and participants will receive a coupon for a free ice cream.

The musical line-up for this year begins with the family group “Tammy and the Fyffe’s” at 1 p.m. “Indigo Quartet” will take the stage at 2 p.m., and Muscatine favorite, “The Creepin’ Charlies,” will perform at 3:15 p.m.

Returning this year is a book sale and art fair. Local artists Carol Steinmetz, Joseph Barnard, Brad Nord, Chris Clark, and Ashley Hogenson and Iowa City artists, Yelena Mass and Connie Schumm, will offer their works for sale.

New this year is a Puppet Building Project with “Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre” of West Liberty. Kids can help Eulenspiegel build and decorate a giant “Pearl of the Mississippi” puppet. Also new are activities presented by the Citizens for an Off-Leash Muscatine Park, including a chance for children to read to a therapy dog and pose for a photograph in a decorated dog house.

Freddie the Fire Truck will make an appearance, thanks to the City of Muscatine Fire Department. Kids’ games, sponsored by Central State Bank, will include some annual favorites plus activities that relate to railroad history as a compliment to the exhibition, “Railroads of Muscatine County”. In the studio, kids will create a “Thomas & Friends” finger puppet from felt.

The railroad exhibition features interesting artifacts and photographs and engaging components for the young and the ‘young at heart’ including a toy train table, a step-on caboose, and working “O and S Gauge” model railroads. Among the railroads featured in the exhibition are the Rock Island Lines, the Muscatine City Railway Company, and the Muscatine & Iowa City Railway, which did not survive its first year of incorporation. In the early 1900s, Muscatine had four active railroads, two inter-urbans and a city trolley system.

Also opening at the Ice Cream Social is an exhibition of Wood Carvings by Muscatine’s own Norman Bunn. Norman is the nephew of William Bunn, the Muscatine artist who is famous for WPA Post Office Murals and Mississippi River boats and scenes. In his retirement, Norman began carving figures, birds, and animals which delight people of all ages. The wood carvings will be on exhibit in the Musser Mansion Gallery from June 1 through August 28, 2014.

Admission to the Ice Cream Social (and related events) is free. All proceeds from sales of ice cream, desserts, beverages and books will go to the Friends of the Muscatine Art Center. Each year, the Friends of the Muscatine Art Center financially contributes towards the educational programs offered at the Art Center, provides scholarships for students to attend studio classes offered through the Art Center and pays for busing for area schools to visit the Art Center.

The Muscatine Art Center is located at 1314 Mulberry Avenue in Muscatine, Iowa. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday evenings until 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free. Donations are appreciated.








Marvin Cone: Quiet Integrity art talk will be given on the third Thursday, May 15, at 5:30 p.m. at Muscatine Art Center. The program will provide information about the life of Marvin Cone, including his long friendship with Grant Wood. The two met in high school, traveled to Paris, attended the Art Institute of Chicago, and joined forces in the summer of 1932 and 1933 to create Stone City Art Colony. As people they were opposites and each followed a different path, but they did influence each other.

 Cone and Wood were both active in the Cedar Rapids Art Association, one of the oldest art organizations in Iowa, which later becomes the Cedar Rapids Art Museum. The program will include the history of the association and many images from the Muscatine Art Center, Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, Coe College and Figge Art Museum  The cultural environment of Cedar Rapids provided both Cone and Wood with exposure to well known artists and the inspiration to become artists.

 Marvin Cone lived in Cedar Rapids, married, raised a family, and taught at Coe College. Although, he does not have the fame of Grant Wood, it is clear that he was a skilled artist and an important figure in American painting.

 After graduating from Coe College with liberal arts degree, he attended the Art Institute of Chicago with Grant Wood. Both joined the army during World War I. Because Marvin Cone could speak French, he was selected to attend the University of Montpellier, France, in February of 1919 before returning home. Marvin returned to Cedar Rapids to teach French at Coe College. The following summer Cone and Wood traveled to Paris, London, Liverpool, and Antwerp. Both painted in the Impressionistic style and held an exhibition of their artworks on the ship as they return to Cedar Rapids.

 On the same return trip home, Grant Wood introduced Marvin to Winnifred Swift whom Marvin married in 1921. Winifred and Marvin had one daughter, Doris.

 During the 1920s, Cone's activities included starting the art department at Coe College and keeping an active schedule of exhibitions with the Cedar Rapids Art Association. At the time, Cedar Rapids was a thriving atmosphere for the arts and in 1928, the American Federation of Arts and Carnegie Foundation provided a $50,000 grant to open The Little Gallery, and Edward Rowan was hired as a trained museum administrator. Rowan arranged for Cone and his wife to go back to Paris in 1929. In 1930, Grant Wood, received the Art Institute award for American Gothic and became famous.

 1932, Marvin Cone and Grant Wood taught at the Stone City Colony and Art School. Background information and images of the Stone City Colony are included in the program. Courses at the Stone City Colony were accredited by Coe College. Unfortunately, the Depression caused the Colony to close after two summers. Grant Wood went on to teach at the University of Iowa, while Cone was appointed professor of painting at Coe College.

 The art talk will take you through Marvin Cone’s styles: landscapes, haunting interiors, barns, circus scenes, and finally abstract images. Unlike artists associated with regionalist and American scene painting of the 1930s, Marvin Cone would integrate his firsthand observation and move from realism to abstraction. Cone's work includes more than rural Midwest scenes.

 On May 18, 1965, Marvin Cone died. As a tribute to his forty years of teaching, Coe College established the Marvin Cone Collection and the Marvin Cone Alumni collection with his artwork on display. The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art provided images for the program as the museum has one of the largest collection of Marvin Cone’s works in the United States.

 For more information about this topic or to schedule an interview with Carol Ehlers or please call Melanie Alexander, Director of the Muscatine Art Center, at (563) 263-8282 or e-mail malexander@muscatineiowa.gov


ANNOUNCING A FREE PUPPET PRESENTATION

 “Stories and Cuentos”, a puppet show presented in both English and Spanish by Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre, will offered for FREE on Thursday, May 8, at 5:30 p.m. on the grounds of the Muscatine Art Center. The public is encouraged to bring blankets and/or lawn chairs as the performance will be held in the E. Bradford Burns Performing Arts Park (just west of the Musser House on Mulberry). In case of rain, the performance will be moved to Central Auditorium.

 Developed and performed by Monica Leo and Mexican puppeteer Eli Portugal, co-founder of Mojiganga Arte Escenico, this performance includes two classic Mexican animal tales. “The Rabbit in the Moon”, a well-known myth, gives a whimsical explanation for the shadows we see in the moon, while delighting audiences with the age old battle of wits between rabbit and coyote. “The Musical Ant”, a less known tale, follows Hormiguita (little ant) as he learns to play the piano and brings peace to his ant colony through music. The production uses hand puppets, rod puppets, masked characters, and music.

 Monica Leo has been creating and performing as founder and principal puppeteer of Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre since 1975. Eulenspiegel has toured in 28 states and four other countries and is a former winner of the Iowa Arts Award. Eli Portugal of Jalapa, Mexico, studied music, theare, and dance at the University of Veracruz in Mexico. In addition to her performance and design skills, she has extensive experience teaching workshops to children as well as to teachers.

 Reservations are not required to attend the puppet performance.

 For more information, please call Melanie Alexander, Director of the Muscatine Art Center, at (563) 263-8282 or e-mail malexander@muscatineiowa.gov.

 Attached Photo: Monica Leo and Eli Portugal, Courtesy Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre

  




American Musical Organettes

The public is invited to join the Muscatine Art Center for the presentation, “American Musical Organettes: The Early Years of Mechanical Music in the Home”, by Muscatine collector Brian Walter. The 45 minute presentation will explore the use of musical organettes in the home from 1879 to 1920. The presentation is offered in conjunction with a temporary exhibition on Musical Organettes and will take place on Thursday, January 23rd at 5:15 PM in the Muscatine Art Center’s Music Room. Admission is FREE.

 

An organette was a mechanical accordion that was manufactured in the late 1800s by several companies, most notably the Autophone Company of Ithaca, New York. Music was recorded on rolls of perforated paper and turned over a track bar. Air was produced by hand- or foot- operated bellows, which would be pushed through the perforations corresponding to different notes, much like a player piano. Some models of organettes were played by mechanically blowing through them, but most were played with a crank that was turned to create a vacuum.

There were at least six models made – the standard 22-note model, the 32-note Autophone, the Concert model (tabletop with operating handle and cabinet style with floor pedal) and other floor standing models. The Autophone Company manufactured the organette in vast numbers. In 1889, it was noted in Harper’s Magazine that the Autophone Company recorded 18,000 units sold. 

Although these types of machines were sold into the 1930s, they began to lose their popularity by 1900 while the home phonograph rose in popularity. The Rollmonica -- or "player harmonica" -- sold during the late 1920s and the 1930s was the last organette produced.

 

The Laura Musser Mansion Small Gallery currently features the first in a series of music box exhibits from the private collection of Brian Walter. The temporary exhibition and the presentation by Brian Walter are the first in a series on historical music boxes. 

 

 
 
The Art of Living Well

 


The Muscatine Art Center will open its new exhibition, The Art of Living Well, on Thursday, November 7th with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. The Art of Living Well is an opportunity to showcase the Art Center’s permanent collection while exploring some of the principles from the Blue Zones Project™.
 
Muscatine is among ten communities in Iowa that have been chosen as Blue Zones Project demonstration sites. The purpose of the Blue Zones Project is to encourage principles that make it possible for people to live longer, healthier and happier lives. The Art of Living Well is presented in five sections – Work, Play, Relax, Belong and Eat. Visitors will explore each of these sections and discover examples of “move naturally,” “know your purpose,” “down shift,” “loved ones first,” “right tribe,” “plant slant” and other core principles of the Power 9®.

 

 “The approach to this exhibition is somewhat different from the way art exhibitions are often organized,” says Director, Melanie Alexander. “The staff was challenged to find examples of people spending time in nature, gathering with friends, being physically active. The Art Center’s collection of photographs, paintings, drawings, artifacts, postcards and other objects is full of examples of people in the past leading active lifestyles.”

 “In this exhibition, we put together works by well-known artists such as Grant Wood, John Bloom and John Steuart Curry to be displayed next to photographs of families picnicking, ice skates from the 1870s, Musser family scrapbooks and advertisements from the Muscatine Oatmeal Company. The Art of Living Well showcases the Art Center’s collection of original art and historic artifacts.”

 The Art Center recently received a grant from the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs that will make it possible to provide a variety of experiences for elementary through high school students when they tour the exhibition. The Art of Living Well is intended to re-enforce some of the healthy eating initiatives of the school district. While at the Art Center, 1st grade students will use collage materials to create a healthy meal; 4th graders will make prints from fruits and vegetables; 6th graders will make fruit and vegetable still lifes in the style of Grant Wood. Visitors will also imagine themselves in a painting or photograph and carry out the movements of the people depicted.

“We hope that students will be attracted to the colorful depictions of fruits and vegetables and will enjoy thinking about what people in the past did to keep physically activity, relax or connect with one another.”

 The Art of Living Well runs from November 7, 2013 through June 15, 2014. Hand-outs and pledge forms for the Blue Zones Project will be available as part of the exhibition. Families can also put together a picnic using toy fruits and vegetables.

delegation from Muscatine Sister Cities, headed by John Dabeet, attended the opening of the "My City" exhibition in the Garden of Nations in Ramallah. "My City," including works by both Muscatine and Ramallah students, will be on exhibit in the Musser Gallery from September 5 through October 3, 2013.

 


         Fall Class Brochure available now!

 

 




Save the Date - November 16, 2013
Friend's of the Muscatine Art Center Festival of Wreaths


 


Marie Laurencin by Carol Ehlers

 

 

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 French Cubist painter Marie Laurencin. The lecture will take place Thursday, August 22 at 5:30 pm in the Muscatine Art Center’s Music Room. Admission is free.
 
 
Marie Laurencin was born in Paris in 1883 and was an important figure in the Parisian avant-garde scene during the early years of the 20th century. She had close friendships with many fellow Cubists, including Pablo Picasso, George Braque, and Juan Gris and exhibited with them in 1910 and 1911. She became romantically involved with the poet Guillaume Apollinaire and is often identified as his muse.
 
 
When Laurencin divorced from her German-born husband in 1920, she returned to Paris from Germany. There she achieved financial success as an artist until the depression of the 1930’s. During the Depression she worked as an art instructor at a private school. She taught and continued to paint until her death in 1956.
 
 
Marie Laurencin is admired first and foremost for her charming sense of color and style which makes her paintings immediately recognizable. Her works, which included oil paintings and pastels, watercolors, drawings, and prints, remained remarkably consistent throughout her career. She is known as one of the few female Cubists and although she worked closely with other members of the movement, she developed a unique approach to the subject of abstraction. Her use of pastels and curved, feminine forms kept her body of work outside the norms of Cubism.

 

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.

                          

 



Due to the storm damage incurred on Monday afternoon, the Muscatine Art Center will be closed today, Tuesday, June 25th. There are branches and unsecured bricks that pose potential risk. Tree removal will begin today. Only those who have official business at the Art Center should use the Cedar Street parking lot, and call the office at 563-263-8282 to gain access to the building. All others are strongly discouraged from coming onto the grounds of the Art Center.

Damage to the Musser house and portions of the Art Center is not significant. Art Center staff and other City of Muscatine departments are making every effort to ensure that the Ice Cream Social, scheduled for Sunday, June 30th, will go ahead as planned.

Concerned citizens who wish to volunteer with clean up can contact United Way of Muscatine. Nichole Sorgenfrey, United Way’s Program Manager, will take a list of those interested in helping. She can be reached at 563-263-5963. The exact timing of when volunteers are needed is uncertain at this time.

A follow up press release will be sent in a few days to confirm that the Ice Cream Social will go ahead as planned. Updates will also be posted on the Art Center’s website and Facebook page.

The Muscatine Art Center is located at 1314 Mulberry Avenue in Muscatine, Iowa. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday evenings until 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free. Donations are appreciated.

Contact Melanie Alexander at 563-263-8282 or malexander@muscatineiowa.gov.

 


Annual Ice Cream Social

June 30th from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Kick off your Fourth of July celebrations at the Annual Ice Cream Social presented by the Friends of the Muscatine Art Center. As always, there will be plenty of ice cream, desserts, family-friendly fun and an art fair. The musical line-up for this year is “Tammy and the Fyffe’s” at 1 p.m., “Gwendolyn Countryman and the Dusty Road” at 2 p.m. and “The Creepin’ Charlies” at 3:15 p.m. New this year is a book sale and “fun with fruit” – edible crafts sponsored by the Muscatine Hy-Vee. The Children's games and crafts are sponsored by Central State Bank.  Families are encouraged to participate in a bike ride from Discovery Park to the Art Center, and kids can decorate a flag for their bikes while at the Art Center. The bike ride departs at 1 p.m. The highlight this year is the dedication of the “E. Bradford Burns Performing Arts Park” on the grounds of the Art Center at 1:00 p.m.

In addition to opening the River Collection exhibit, “My Grandma’s Song,” an exhibition of children’s book illustrations by Nancy Purington, inspired by the music of Gwendolyn Countryman, will open.” Countryman wrote and recorded “My Grandma’s Songs” as a tribute to her grandmother and collaborated with regional artist Purington to turn the lyrics into a 32-page illustrated book. The exhibit in the Musser gallery will be on display through August 25, 2013.








PRESS RELEASE

MUSCATINE ART CENTER
1314 Mulberry Avenue, Muscatine, Iowa 52761
563.263.8282

 March 26, 2013

 As part of the temporary exhibition, “The Other Side of the Earth” by Chun Arthur Wang, the Muscatine Art Center is hosting a panel discussion about the relationship between Muscatine and China. Mayor DeWayne Hopkins will serve as moderator for the discussion on Thursday, April 4th from 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. in the Muscatine Art Center’s Music Room. 
 
Mayor Hopkins will share photographs from his recent delegation trip to Hebei Province and will lead a session that explores the past, present, and future of building a relationship between Muscatine and China. Several panelists were part of the Mayor’s delegation while others are “old friends” who hosted Xi Jinping, now the President of the People’s Republic of China.

Panelists include members of the Mayor’s Muscatine China Initiatives Committee such Tony Joseph, President of the Initiatives Committee and President of Joseph Industries; Sarah Lande, one of Xi Jinping’s Old Friends, former Executive Director of Iowa Sister States and also a member of its first Board of Directors; Albert Liu of Musco Sports Lighting; Deb Hutton, President of Muscatine Sister Cities; and Bob Allbee, President of Muscatine Community College.

 
The panelists will explore topics related to the establishment of the friendship between Hebei and Iowa in the early 1980s, Sister States/Sister Cities past and present initiatives, the purpose of the Mayor’s committee, Muscatine companies with operations in China, the 100,000 Strong Initiative, and other efforts to prepare current community and business leaders as well as future generations for working in China and with Chinese leaders.

 
In addition to the exhibition of paintings by Chun Arthur Wang, the Art Center has on display several cases of items on loan from Joan Axel, an Old Friend of Xi Jinping, and Mayor Hopkins. Among the items are gifts from Xi Jinping including a China Red tea set and two porcelain Chinese Gift Tea containers. Several photo books, scarves, and scrolls are also on display.

 
The Muscatine Art Center is located at 1314 Mulberry Avenue in Muscatine, Iowa. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday evenings until 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free. Donations are appreciated.

 



Join the

Friends of the Muscatine Art Center

for a bus trip to 

Picasso and Chicago

at the Chicago Art Institute

THURSDAY, May 9, 2013

$85.00 Non-member $75.00 Friends

Cost includes round trip transportation and ticket to the exhibit.

Lunch is on your own.

Reservations must be made and

paid by Tuesday, April 23, 2013.

 

Boarding from the soccer complex on Houser Street at 6:45

Arrive in Chicago at 10:30 am.

Boarding Chicago at 3:30—arrive back in Muscatine at 7:00 pm.

 

For reservations call 563.263.8282.

Please make checks payable to:

Friends of the Muscatine Art Center.

 



PRESS RELEASE

MUSCATINE ART CENTER

1314 Mulberry Avenue, Muscatine, Iowa 52761

563.263.8282

 

February 7, 2013

 

Are you responsible for the historic documents, photographs and objects belonging to your organization, church or family? The Muscatine Art Center and Musser Public Library are teaming up to provide a basic overview to caring for collections.

Attendees will learn about ways to provide basic collections care on a small budget and without professional training. Discussion topics will include organizing materials, storing materials in a more stable environment, handling and exhibiting materials to limit the risk of damage, and digitizing records and photographs. Art Center Registrar Virginia Cooper will cover the basics of working with acid-free materials for storage. She will examine storage for textiles, books, and historic documents. Sheila Chaudoin, Photo Archivist at Musser Public Library, will discuss photograph and photo negative storage and scanning and managing digitized images.

The free session will take place on Thursday, March 7th at 5:30 p.m. in the Music Room at the Muscatine Art Center. The session will last approximately 1 hour plus time for questions.

To register in advance, call 563-263-8282 or email malexander@muscatineiowa.gov

The Muscatine Art Center is located at 1314 Mulberry Avenue in Muscatine, Iowa. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday evenings until 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free. Donations are appreciated.


 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE

MUSCATINE ART CENTER

1314 Mulberry Avenue, Muscatine, IA 52761    563-263-8282

www.muscatineartcenter.org

 

CONTACT:  KATY DOHERTY, PROGRAM COORDINATOR

 

FOR RELEASE: FEBRUARY, 2013

 

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 in 1992 from the estate of Mary Musser Gilmore in honor of her parents, Richard Drew Musser and Sarah Walker Musser.

 

This spring, the Muscatine Art Center welcomes Carol Ehlers, art history speaker, to present lectures on featured artists from the Mary Musser Gilmore Collection. The series is called “Artists Inspirations” and features artists Pablo Picasso, Paul Signac, and Raoul Dufy, and the artists that influenced each of them. The lectures will be held on the fourth Thursdays of the month beginning in March, and will be begin promptly at 5:30 pm. These lectures are FREE and open to the public.

 

Thursday, March 28: Pablo Picasso Looks at Edgar Degas

Pablo Picasso is said to have remarked that "good artists copy; great artists steal."  Throughout his long and prolific career, Picasso often made works of art in response to his predecessors, quoting famous compositions by other artists.  The subjects that had come to define Degas' works - cabarets and cafes, portraits, women bathing, and ballet dancers - can be seen in a variety of pieces from Picasso's early periods.  Picasso's interest in Degas even inspired a series of etchings, made late in his career, in which Picasso depicted Degas himself.


Thursday, April 25: Paul Signac and the Utilization of Scientific Theory and Pointillism

Neo-Impressionist Paul Signac adopted the scientific theory of color and light refraction published by Eugene Chevreul and the model of pointillism he developed with his contemporary Georges Seurat to create a new phase of Post-Impressionism: Pointillism. See how these theories of color and phenomena of perception influenced Signac’s art.   

 

Thursday, May 23: Raoul Dufy Looks at Pissarro, Matisse and Braque

Like the Camille Pissaro and the Impressionists at the time, Raoul Duf's cheerful paintings depict events of the time, including views of the French Riviers, and musical events.  However, Impressionism was simply a step artistically- he then fell under the influence of the Fauves after being mesmerized by Henri Matisse. Later, he found that he needed to instill more austerity and soberness in his works, and Cubism fit the bill. Dufy preferred Georges Braque’s neutral, fractured paintings to the wild and painterly Fauvist style. He later gained a reputation for being a commercial artist after a lifetime of borrowing from different artistic movements.

EVENT DETAILS:

What: “Artists Inspire” Lecture Series

Who: Carol Ehlers

When: Fourth Thursdays starting in March, 2013

Time: 5:30 PM

Where: The Muscatine Art Center’s Music Room

Admission to these programs 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 located at 1314 Mulberry Avenue in Muscatine, Iowa. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday evenings until 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free. Donations are appreciated. Go to www.muscatineartcenter.org for more information about programs and events and to download a class brochure.

 




 

 

PRESS RELEASE

MUSCATINE ART CENTER

1314 Mulberry Avenue, Muscatine, Iowa 52761

563.263.8282

 

January 10, 2013

 

The Muscatine Art Center will provide visitors with an escape from Iowa winter with the opening of an exhibition of works by Beth Van Hoesen. This exhibition will be the first opportunity for the public to view the twenty-six prints and drawings of flowers gifted to the Art Center in 2012. The exhibition will be on view from February 1 through June 16, 2013.

Van Hoesen’s flowers are richly colored and draw attention to the idea of art being all around us. Van Hoesen takes everyday objects and highlights the sublime hidden in small things. Her works are nearly scientific in detail but also quite charming.

For much of her career, Van Hoesen functioned outside of the “fleeting and fashionable” movements of the time. Van Hoesen was a realist when many artists tended towards abstraction. Her printmaking technique was highly regarded, and her work is represented in the collections of major art museums. These include the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Art Institute of Chicago, Boise Art Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Cincinnati Art Museum, Honolulu Academy of Arts, Smithsonian Institution and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Born in Boise, Idaho in 1926, Van Hoesen studied art at Stanford University, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1948. After graduating from Stanford she studied art in France and later at the California School of Fine Arts (San Francisco Art Institute). Her career spanned more than five decades.

The E. Mark Adams and Beth Van Hoesen Trust of San Francisco, California gifted the works to the Muscatine Art Center. The collection includes the medias of graphite, colored pencil, watercolor, aquatint, etching, drypoint, engraving and lithography. 

The Muscatine Art Center is located at 1314 Mulberry Avenue in Muscatine, Iowa. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday evenings until 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free. Donations are appreciated.