Des Moines Art Center

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Des Moines Art Center
Des Moines Art Center.jpg
Established 1948
Location 4700 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa
Director Jeff Fleming

Official website

Des Moines Art Center
Des Moines Art Center is located in Iowa
Des Moines Art Center
Des Moines Art Center is located in USA
Des Moines Art Center
Location 4700 Grand Ave., Des Moines, Iowa, United States
Coordinates 41°35′0″N 93°40′52″W / 41.58333°N 93.68111°W / 41.58333; -93.68111Coordinates: 41°35′0″N 93°40′52″W / 41.58333°N 93.68111°W / 41.58333; -93.68111
Built 1948
Architectural style International Style
NRHP Reference # 03000063[1]
Added to NRHP October 19, 2004

The Des Moines Art Center is an art museum with an extensive collection of paintings, sculpture, modern art and mixed media. It was established in 1948 in Des Moines, Iowa.[2]


A large main gallery rotates through several exhibitions throughout the year, most of which are featured from one to three months at a time. These shows include solo shows by internationally recognized artists, travelling shows from other institutions, and group shows organized around a theme. The rest of the museum space highlights the permanent collections in various ways, including small spaces for short-term print and photography shows, a video gallery, and long-term installations organized both chronologically and thematically. Included on the grounds are outdoor sculptures and a rose garden. An external reflecting pool is surrounded on all sides by the museum.


Artists included in the permanent collection are Edward Hopper, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, Francis Bacon, Georgia O'Keeffe, Gerhard Richter, Claes Oldenburg, Mary Cassatt, Auguste Rodin, Grant Wood, Deborah Butterfield, Paul Gauguin, Eva Hesse, Ronnie Landfield, Roy Lichtenstein, George Segal, Mark Rothko, John Singer Sargent, Joseph Cornell and Takashi Murakami.

Some paintings from the collection are well known examples of the artist and/or movement they represent. These include Edward Hopper's "Automat", which was reproduced on a postage stamp as well as used for a cover of Time magazine, Stanton MacDonald Wright's "Synchromy" which has been reproduced in numerous texts about the artist/movement, Francis Bacon's "Portrait of Pope Innocent" which likewise is considered a signature work by the artist and appeared in Robert Hughes "Shock of the New" BBC series in the early 1980s.


The architecture of the original museum wing was designed in a combination of Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles by Eliel Saarinen in 1945 and completed in 1948.

The second addition, originally intended for large-scale sculpture, was designed in a Modernist style by I.M. Pei in 1966 and completed in 1968. Legend says that Pei designed the south windows, which look out onto the rose garden, to resemble "PEI", but he has denied this.

The third wing was designed by Richard Meier and completed in 1985. This wing was designed to allow as much natural ambient light in as possible.

The Art Center also includes a restaurant and a gift shop. Workshops, film festivals and lectures are conducted on a regular basis through the museums large studio program, with classes available for students of all ages. Museum hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 11am to 4pm, Thursday from 11am to 9pm, Saturday from 10am to 4pm, and Sunday from noon to 4pm.[3] Admission is free.


  1. ^ Staff (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ "Museum History". Des Moines Art Center. Retrieved 2009-07-18. 
  3. ^

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