Iowa Art History

with an emphasis on representational art



This section of the Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) catalogue Topics in American Art is devoted to the topic "Iowa Art History." Articles and essays specific to this topic published in TFAO's Resource Library are listed at the beginning of the section. Clicking on titles takes readers directly to the articles and essays.

Following the links to Resource Library articles and essays are a listing of museums in the state which have provided materials to Resource Library for this or any other topic.

Listed after Resource Library articles, essays and museums are links to online resources outside the TFAO website. Following these resources is information about offline resources including DVDs, paper-printed books, journals and articles. Our goal is to present complete knowledge relating to this section of Topics in American Art.

TFAO welcomes volunteers to further the broadening of knowledge related to this topic. To learn more about TFAO's many volunteer opportunities please click here. Volunteers are welcome to contribute suggestions for additional content in this catalogue. Please see Catalogue and database management for details.


Resource Library essays listed by author name in alphabetical order, followed by articles:

As of April, 2015 Resource Library contains 296 pages including the state's name, yet no articles or essays specific to this state.

We recommend that researchers always search within Resource Library for additional material. Please see TFAO's page How to research topics not listed for more information.


Museums and other non-profit sources of Resource Library articles and essays:

Blanden Memorial Art Museum

Cedar Rapids Museum of Art

Charles H. MacNider Museum

Davenport Museum of Art

Des Moines Art Center (2/21/05)

Dubuque Museum of Art

Hearst Center for the Arts

Muscatine Art Center

Sioux City Art Center

University of Iowa Museum of Art


Other online information:

Art and Artists in Iowa from Iowa Pathways. Accessed August, 2015.

David Plowden's Iowa is a 2012 exhibit at the Figge Art Museum which says: "During his 50-year career, David Plowden sought to capture the once commonplace but now rapidly vanishing scenes of small-town and rural America. David Plowden's Photographs showcases Plowden's photographs of local Iowans and communities during a 20-year period." Accessed 2/17

Ellen Wagener: No Ordinary Moments is a 2016 exhibit at the Dubuque Museum of Art which says: "Ellen Wagener has resided in Arizona for over 15 years but has always retained a fascination with her native Iowa landscape."  Accessed 3/17

Grant Wood and Marvin Cone: Barns, Farms, and America's Heartland was an exhibit held February 6 - May 15, 2016 at Cedar Rapids Museum of Art. CRMA says: "Born in 1891, Wood and Cone began their lifelong friendship in Cedar Rapids in 1906 and attended Washington High School together. The two artists subsequently traveled to Europe in 1920 and, in the summers of 1932 and 1933, were active forces in the Stone City Art Colony, which brought together an important group of regional artists." Also see article titled "Eastern Iowa celebrates 125th anniversary of Grant Wood's birth" By Brian E. Clark, Special to the Journal Sentinel. Accessed August, 2016.

Iowa (sampling of artists and works connected to state) from askArt. Accessed August, 2015.

John Bloom: Visions of Iowa is a 2009 exhibit at the Figge Art Museum which says: "A native of Iowa and resident of Davenport, John Vincent Bloom (1906-2002) drew inspiration from his immediate surroundings and personal experiences. In so doing, he has left a lasting impression of the small rural communities scattered across the Iowa landscape and the lives sustained by the predominantly agrarian economy." Accessed 2/17

Recovered Treasures: Saving Iowa's Painted Past was an exhibition held in 2008-2009 at the State Historical Museum. A 12/23/08 article from the Globe Gazette covers the exhibit. Accessed August, 2016.

Stone City Art Colony from Wikipedia. Accessed August, 2015.


TFAO's Distinguished Artists catalogue provides online access to biographical information for artists associated with this state. Also, Search Resource Library for online articles and essays concerning both individual artists associated with this state's history and the history of art centers and museums in this state. Resource Library articles and essays devoted to individual artists and institutions are not listed on this page.


Books, listed by year of publication, with most recently published book listed first:

Iowa Folk Artists, by Jacqueline Andre Schmeal (Author), Charles Brill (Photographer). 136 pages. Iowa State Press; 1st edition (July 30, 1998). ISBN-10: 0813828899. ISBN-13: 978-0813828893

Portraits in Iowa: Portraits of Americans, Made Before 1900 and Now Located in Iowa, By National Society of Colonial Dames of America in the State of Iowa.. Published by National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Iowa, 1982. 21 pages

A Catalog of New Deal Mural Projects in Iowa, By Lea Rosson DeLong, Gregg R. Narber. Published by L.R. DeLong, 1982. 80 pages

Art in Iowa: From Private Collections, Des Moines Art Center, Oct. 19-Nov. 24, 1963, By Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines Art Center. Published by The Center, 1963. 16 pages

Iowa Artists of the First Hundred Years, By Zenobia Brumbaugh Ness, Louise Orwig. Compiled by Zenobia Brumbaugh Ness, Louise Orwig. Published by Wallace-Homestead Company, 1939. 253 pages

Brief Information Concerning Iowa Artists, By Jeannette M. Drake, Iowa Federation of Women's Clubs, Published by Iowa Federation of Women's Clubs, 1917. 16 pages




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