Danish Porcelain

One of the most recognizable and enduring aspects of Danish culture is its porcelain. Art Nouveau Innovation: Danish Porcelain from an American Collector presents the fascinating history of Danish porcelain, including the technical and artistic successes that revolutionized porcelain production worldwide. Over 100 original porcelain works, on loan from the collection of Dr. Todd Reiser, will be on view at the Dubuque Museum of Art from February 19 through June 5.

The objects in this exhibition showcase porcelain from Danish manufacturers Royal Copenhagen and Bing & Grøndahl from the 1880s through the 1920s. Founded in 1775, Royal Copenhagen is one the oldest porcelain manufacturers still in operation today. Throughout its history, the factory has experienced numerous highs and lows, and has weathered more than 130 years of competition from the Bing & Grøndahl Porcelain Factory. After 1882, the two factories were located less than a mile apart, with their flagship stores eventually competing side-by-side for sales in the heart of Copenhagen. Both Royal Copenhagen and Bing & Grøndahl explored new forms, new techniques, and new artistic influences. From 1885 to 1920, both manufacturers reached new heights of artistic achievement, winning numerous awards along the way. Their output influenced the work of companies across Europe and created a global market for Danish porcelain.

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Art credit: Teapot with lid with gilding and white flowers, 1893, Royal Copenhagen, painter Jenny Meyer.

Camera Club 2021

The Dubuque Camera Club’s annual exhibition returns for an extended run, this year featuring images that explore the healing power of trees. Over twenty images of nature’s sacred residents provide guests a mental respite during their visit to DuMA.

This select group of arboreal images by Camera Club members offers a space for contemplation in the Museum and a reminder of the beauty in our world.

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Image credit: Stephonie Schmitz, Sunburst in the Hoh Rainforest

Vietnam The Real War

The Vietnam War left a deep and lasting impression on American life, including on the men and women who fought in it, the journalists and photographers who covered it, and the millions of Americans who supported it or protested against it. Thanks to an uncensored press, the world knew and saw more of this war than any other in history, before or since. In this expanded version of the exhibition Vietnam: The Real War, we examine how photography captured the War from national, local, and military perspectives. The experience encompasses over 150 images, artifacts from a local collection that were used by soldiers in the War, oral histories, and a variety of related programming.

Multiple perspectives documenting the Vietnam War come together in this powerful and thought-provoking exhibition. As we look back from the vantage point of half a century, this exhibition serves as a photographic record of the drama and tragedy of one of the controversial and darker chapters of the American experience.

Veterans, active military personnel, and their families receive free admission during Vietnam: The Real War.

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Image Credit: A U.S. soldier wears a hand-lettered slogan on his helmet, June 1965. The soldier was serving with the 173rd Airborne Brigade on defense duty at the Phuoc Vinh airfield. (AP Photo/Horst Faas)


Geisert 2021

The Dubuque Museum of Art is pleased to present a new exhibition highlighting the boundless imagination and humor of children’s book author and artist Arthur Geisert. The original etchings from his newest book will be on view. The book will be available for purchase in the museum shop starting August 30th.

Arthur Geisert is the author of over 30 books, three of which have been awarded The New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book Award. Born in Texas and raised in Los Angeles, Geisert came to the Midwest via Omaha and Chicago. He lived in Galena, Illinois for many years before crossing the Mississippi to settle in Iowa in 2007.

DuMA has enjoyed a long relationship with the artist, whose complete works are among the Museum’s most prized collections. Through the generosity of the Jack and Mantea Schmid Family, Arthur Geisert, and Bonnie Geisert, the Museum acquired all of the artist’s prints, books, and etching plates more than a decade ago—a collection that expands with each new book.

How the Big Bad Wolf Got His Comeuppance is the second book in Geisert’s trilogy of stories set in Clayton County, Iowa where he lives. Inspired by the county’s quaint towns and colorful countryside, Geisert incorporates his fantastical stories into his world. The first book in the trilogy, Pumpkin Island, came out in 2019 and was set in Geisert’s hometown of Elkader, the county seat. The third book is currently in creation and will feature trolls who live under the many stone bridges on the Turkey River, the main tributary in the county that flows into the Mississippi River.

Geisert’s book presents a new interpretation of the legendary three little pigs story. The mother of the three pigs warns them about the wolf, giving them the opportunity to engineer elaborate arrangements to foil the wolf’s plans at every turn. The story is written by Elkader Public Library Director Lisa Wilke Pope and illustrated by Geisert’s intricate etchings.

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Image credit:
Arthur Geisert, How the Big Bad Wolf Got His Comeuppance, 2020,
jacket cover, hand-colored etching on paper, 2021.2.1

Emotionscapes: Paintings by Joyce Polance

Joyce Polance was a Chicago-based painter for over 26 years before a move in December 2020, accelerated by COVID-19, took her away from the Midwest and back to her home state of New York. In this series of 14 oil paintings made since 2015, the artist expresses deeply felt, dark emotions through the visual forms of landscapes and cityscapes.

Her expressionistic paintings meld realism with abstraction, and focus on movement, energy, and emotion. Natural and urban landscapes take on human characteristics that reflect our uncertain times. As the artist explains, “In our current political climate of amplified voices and vehement certainties of belief, I explore what happens when things aren’t so definite. My paintings blur the definitions of figures and landscapes. Trees, water, and mountains scream, dissolving into creatures, churning with inner turmoil and expression.”

Polance was born in New York City in 1965. She attended Wesleyan University and received a Bachelor of Fine Art from the Fashion Institute of Technology. She has exhibited internationally and has work in many private and corporate collections.

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Image credit:
Joyce Polance, Dream City, 2020, oil on canvas,24 x 36in., collection of the artist

2021 DuMA Biennial

Founded in 2003 and presented every two years, the DuMA Biennial is a competitive, juried exhibition that recognizes and honors the artistic talent in our region.

Preparations for the 2021 DuMA Biennial began in December 2020 when the call for entries opened to emerging and established artists residing within a 200 mile-radius of Dubuque. Following the jurying process, the selected artists were announced on May 6th and the exhibition opens June 26th. The DuMA Biennial features new work created during a momentous year. It presents a compelling survey of the period and provide a sense of where artists have found the inspiration to continue to create.

This summer promises greater opportunity for visitors to come to the museum to once again experience first-hand works on exhibit.

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Image Credit:
Stina Henslee, For Fanny Cassidy, 2021,
Ink, watercolor, spray paint, acrylic, and collage on illustration board, 30×40 in.,
Collection of the artist

I Am A Man

The Dubuque Museum of Art (DuMA) in partnership with Voices Productions and with additional support by Trappist Caskets and Humanities Iowa, is hosting a temporary exhibition of Dana Harrison’s I Am A Man mural at the corner of Bluff Street and 8th Street in downtown Dubuque.

The mural is located on a portion of the west side of a building that is planned for eventual deconstruction.

Mr. Harrison is an Iowa native who discovered a passion for letters and characters in the mid 1990s. He studied under Dasc of the mwck’z (Midwest can controllerz) and the late Sazko of the Belgium bombers, and is a member of the Scarce Elements Crew. Fellow Iowa graffiti writer Asphate will work with Harrison on this mural.

The mural is inspired by a photograph taken on April 8, 1968 by photojournalist Bob Adelman at the memorial march in Memphis, Tennessee for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who had been assassinated just days before. Dr. King was planning to lead the I Am a Man march in Memphis supporting a sanitation workers strike that had begun in February. The workers were striking over their dangerous, low-paying working conditions as well as the racial violence of the era. The man in the image is carrying one of the hundreds of I AM A MAN signs made for the march. Instead of a march led by Dr. King, the man carries it in mourning for Dr. King’s murder.

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Photo credit: Bob Adelman

K-12 2021

The much anticipated K-12 exhibition of artwork from students in the Dubuque Community and Holy Family schools occurs each spring. Biennially, the Museum hosts an exhibition of work by City high school students. Because of the pandemic, the Museum chose to combine these exhibitions and present them in a virtual format. The Dubuque Area K-12 Virtual Exhibition was open to all students and features 150 works in a variety of mediums.

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Tim Olson 2021

Dubuque artist Tim Olson finds inspiration in the people and places around him and uses that inspiration to re-imagine historic paintings in his latest series. Olson creates a direct dialogue between Midwestern life and masterpieces from the Renaissance to the 19th century. The exhibition features twelve new oil on panel paintings.

Image credit: Tim Olson, Self Portrait with a Temperature of 97.1, 2020, oil on panel, 25 x19 inches

2100 and Counting

This exhibition is a major retrospective of the growth of the museum’s collection over the last two decades. Many works are on view in the museum for the first time. Included in the exhibition are key acquisitions by local, regional, and international artists like Thomas Hart Benton, Salvador Dali, J.J. Kavanaugh, Mark Chamberlain, Elizabeth Eagle, Rose Frantzen, Arthur Geisert, Ernest Garthwaite, Criss Glasell, the Lasansky family, Stanislas Lepine, Francesco Licciardi, Jessica Teckemeyer, Ellen Wagener, Joseph Walter, Marcia Wegman, Grant Wood, and Zane York.

image credit: Sr. Helen Kerrigan, BVM, Self-Portrait, 1974, oil on canvas, 61 1/4 x 48 1/4 inches, Gift of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 2020.14