Do they have true artists that are known? Like Picasso, Degas, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Matisse, Renoir to name a few? Or is this a local museum supporting local artists?
Yes, the collection includes pieces by internationally known artists; it is definitely not just a forum for local artists. It's true that the collection is not on the same scale as big city art museums, like Chicago's and New York's, but it's definitely worth a visit. Also, it's astonishing that the original building and additions were designed by three world-class architects: Eliel Saarinen, IM Pei, and Richard Meier.
I am not sure I can truly answer this question as I am just a lowly attorney from the Midwest. My "refinement" level may not be high brow enough to describe the Arts Center. The Center does have art from a somewhat local artist, Grant Wood, a hick by some standards, but I heard some people consider him a true artist. They do have pieces from "true artists" in addition to having lesser known artists. The architecture of the buildings is also very fascinating, some guy named I. M. Pei was involved in the design of one of them. (look him up if you have not heard of him, he is a true architect)
I have been to big name art galleries across the world and I do consider the Arts Center to be a fine museum. It has plenty to observe and enjoy if you pull your high brow head out of the clouds.
The collection is not enormous but it is chosen very carefully with some gems. Giacometti, Goncharova are few of them..and Grant Wood can't be called hick by any stretch. He is truly american genius.
They have big name artists there.
yes, and excellent permanent collection, and a variety of styles, they also have excellent special exhibits. The garden's are beautiful as are the sculptures there, the architecture is also pieces of art in and of themselves, various wings ranging from late 1930's to 1990's . Remember, it is all free! They have a lovely court and café as well. (that is not free).
There is work by Klee, Degas, Kandinsky, Manet, Miro, Picasso, Hopper, Homer, Rothko, etc. Some artists only one work, others more than 10. I was amazed since it was Des Moines. I have been to galleries in London; Washington, DC; Minneapolis, New York; Chicago, Los Angeles, among others, but this was in America's Heartland! And it's free!
The museum is well-curated, and installations are changed often enough to rate more than only one visit a year. The rotating permanent collection is highly respected, and the temporary exhibits are sure to open your eyes to new ways of seeing art and the world.
When you are done at the museum, visit the gardens, and then go to Stamm Chocolatier, for some incredible gelato (on Ingersoll), visit Noce for jazz, walk through the East Village, and visit four floors of reclaimed treasures at West End Architectural Salvage on SW 9th. Downtown Des Moines is a treasure itself.
Thanks everyone! I'll put it on my list to do.
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