Past Exhibitions


Photographs by Noah Doely

November 18, 2017 - February 4, 2018

Out of Darkness

From his series Above & Below, Cedar Falls, Iowa artist Noah Doely presents 18 photographs made using a pinhole camera. These constructed, underwater cave scenes explore themes of evolution and origin and raise questions about authenticity in art.

Doely was inspired to make this series after reading about both the evolution of the eye and the chambered nautilus. The nautilus is a creature that has retained its same form for millions of years. Its primitive vision is strikingly similar to an early form of photography, the pinhole camera. This connection between the evolution of the eye and early photography resonated with Doely as a photographer and a sculptor and he responded with perceptively crafted cave images.

I produced these images by casting and arranging rocks into cave-like formations, submerging them in a large water-filled glass tank, lighting these aqueous dioramas from a single light-source and then photographing them with exposures ranging from twenty-four hours to several days using a pinhole camera in an otherwise darkened room. With this type of camera, I created primordial images that produce illusions of scale in a dialectic between the subject and means of apprehending or recording it. The nautilus’ eye and the cave are among the references I use to consider the notion of ancient vision.

Caves possess a web of connotations that relate to origins, vision, and illusion. My work aims to destabilize the notion of an authentic encounter by blurring the distinction between reality and illusion. I’m interested in the precarious nature of subjective experience and the range of interpretations that surround natural realities. Origins are a reoccurring and central theme in my work, which includes the role origin stories play in science, myth, and art. Although my work isn’t exclusively photographic, that medium remains central to my practice, because of its complicated relationship to truth and verifiability and its paradoxical ability to evoke both trust and skepticism.

Noah Doely was born in Golden Valley, Minnesota in 1982. He earned a BFA in Sculpture from the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls in 2005 and an MFA in Visual Arts from the University of California, San Diego in 2013. He has had solo exhibitions at Steve Turner Contemporary in Los Angeles, California; San Diego Museum of Art; Locust Projects, Miami, Florida; Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Winter Park, Florida; Viafarini, Milan, Italy; Center on Contemporary Art, Seattle, Washington; and the Des Moines Art Center. He has been awarded fellowships and residencies at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, The Hambidge Center for Creative Arts & Sciences, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, and The MacDowell Colony. Doely’s work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Juxtapoz Magazine, and Burnaway Magazine. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Photography at the University of Northern Iowa.

Razzle-Dazzle: World War I Camouflage Ephemera from the Collection of Roy R. Behrens

November 3, 2017 - February 4, 2018

Razzle Dazzle

In conjunction with the World War I centennial, the Dubuque Museum of Art presents this exhibition of WWI-era prints, posters, diagrams, and photographs of naval camouflage from the collection of scholar Roy R. Behrens, professor of art and distinguished scholar at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls.

A noted scholar on the aesthetics and history of camouflage, see his blog CAMOUPEDIA, Roy R. Behrens has published seven books, hundreds of journal and magazine articles, and has been featured in interviews on NOVA, National Public Radio, Australian Public Radio, BBC, Iowa Public Radio, and Iowa Public Television, as well as in documentary films. He has been a nominee for the Smithsonian Institution’s National Design Awards, has received the Iowa Board of Regents Faculty Excellence Award, and has been described by Communication Arts magazine as “one of the most original thinkers in design.” His most recent book is Frank Lloyd Wright and Mason City: Architectural Heart of the Prairie (in press 2016).

Remnants of the West

Photography by Edward S. Curtis and Mark James

September 2, 2017 - January 7, 2018

Remnants of the West

This unique exhibition of 40 photographs spans more than a century, presenting contemporary landscape photographer Mark James alongside early 20th century photographer Edward S. Curtis. Both artists found inspiration in the American West. While Colorado photographer Mark James focuses exclusively on the natural landscape, Curtis documented Native American tribes and in the process captured stunning landscapes as backdrops to daily life. James has drawn inspiration from Curtis and Pictorialism, the 19th century art movement that promoted photography as an art form. Throughout the exhibition the images show this influence in direct, one-to-one conversations – connecting the past to the present.

Dimensions of Photography: Dubuque Camera Club 5th Annual Exhibition

September 2, 2017 - October 29, 2017

Dimensions of Photography

The Dubuque Museum of Art is proud to host the 5th annual exhibition of photography by members of the Dubuque Camera Club. DUMA is excited to continue its partnership with our local camera club as both organizations strive to foster the continuing evolution of photography as an art form. The theme of this year’s exhibition focuses on the versatility of digital photography and the degree of technique utilized in the making of a picture. The exhibition is arranged by the progression of the level of camera work, specialized equipment, and technical skill required. Beginning with straightforward techniques that are more reliant on the positioning and judgement of an experienced photographer. Followed by images that require a higher level of camera work, advanced equipment, and controlled environments. And ending with the full-on creative process of post-production work, where photographers manipulate and create their images using desktop publishing software.

About the Dubuque Camera Club

The Dubuque Camera Club has been in existence since the early 1940s with its start at the Dubuque YMCA. The current club has over 30 members and is part of the N4C which is an organization of 42 camera clubs in 11 North Central states. N4C organizes contests where images are submitted and judged by members from other clubs with winners receiving awards. Photo enthusiasts of all skill levels are encouraged to join and learn more about photography, become a qualifying member of N4C, and be eligible to participate in contests and activities. More information about the Dubuque Camera Club can be found online at

Curious Constructions

Photography by Les Allen

August 19, 2017 - November 5, 2017

Curious Constructions

Dixon, Illinois photographer Les Allen constructs meticulous still-life scenes out of curious objects and uses these surreal creations to make his black and white silver gelatin photographs, 22 of which are on view in this exhibition. Although it is important for Allen “to invent and construct [his] own ephemeral worlds from scratch” as part of his creative process, the production of the actual photograph carries equal significance in his photography.

Despite many challenges, photographers who continue the tradition of film do so for the love of the medium, where they are part of the final product and the physical print itself remains a product of their hands. With Allen’s images, the subjects he photographs are also the product of his hands. As he collects and creates objects that spark his curiosity, he assembles them into one-of-kind arrangements, resembling a stage set or a diorama, and photographs them using dramatic lighting effects. Working in black and white focuses attention on the shapes and details in the scene and gives the images a nostalgic quality mirroring the nostalgia of traditional film photography.

Les Allen has been actively involved in photography for over 45 years. He studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, earning his BFA degree in painting and drawing in 1973 and in 1975 his MFA degree in filmmaking and photography. For 35 years he taught art full-time in public high school where he developed and greatly expanded the photography program in his district. Concurrently he taught for the Young Artists’ Studios at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and was instrumental in developing their outdoor art education program. Allen also taught at College of DuPage, Moraine Valley Community College, and at Governor’s State University. In 1986 he received the Kohl Foundation’s “International Award for Exemplary Teaching.” Now retired, Allen spends his time teaching classes for the Viva Arts program at The Next Picture Show in Dixon and is pursuing his life-long passion of film photography. For more information, visit his website at

2017 DUMA Biennial

May 27, 2017 - August 20, 2017

2017 DUMA Biennial

The sixth DUMA Biennial presents an invigorating survey of 70 works created by 57 regional contemporary artists, with exciting new works from artists both familiar and new to the museum.

To enter the competition artists must live within a 200 mile radius of Dubuque and only artwork created in the last two years qualified. For the 2017 DUMA Biennial, a record 208 artists from Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Missouri submitted over 580 works of art.

Special thank you to juror, Amanda C, Burdan, Ph.D., Associate Curator of the Brandywine River Museum of Art.

2017 DUMA Biennial artists:
Marcia Babler, Libertyville, Illinois
Judy Bales, Fairfield, Iowa
Maureen O’Neill Bardusk, Galena, Illinois
Brian Bartlett, Madison, Wisconsin
Carrie Baxter, Freeport, Illinois
Beth Bird, Elizabeth, Illinois
Sara Slee Brown, Iowa City, Iowa
Stephanie Brunia, Oxford, Iowa
Gail Chavenelle, Dubuque, Iowa
Jim Davis, Fairfield, Iowa
Patrick Doughman, Cedarburg, Wisconsin
Erin Dragotto, Dubuque, Iowa
Velga Easker, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Fred Easker, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Pamela Echeverria, Cedar Falls, Iowa
Robert Felderman, Dubuque, Iowa
Alison Filley, Iowa City, Iowa
Michelle Fischer, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Christine Flavin, Iowa City, Iowa
Dean Genth, Mason City, Iowa
Lynn Giles, Galena, Illinois
Hannah Goldsmith, Earlville, Iowa
Richard Hess, Galena, Illinois
Angie Huffman, Marion, Iowa
Peggy Johnston, Des Moines, Iowa
Larassa Kabel, Des Moines, Iowa
Mary Jo Kattelman, Newark, Missouri
Alda Kaufman, Dubuque, Iowa
Michael Knapstein, Middleton, Wisconsin
Sarah Krepp, Evanston, Illinois
Janet Lauroesch, Mt Vernon, Iowa
Nancy Lindsay, Anamosa, Iowa
Valerie Mangion, Muscoda, Wisconsin
Kassandra Mattia, North Liberty, Iowa
Kevin McCusker, Manchester, Iowa
Matthew J. Mikulice, Dubuque, Iowa
Diane D. Naylor, Fairfield, Iowa
Eileen Mueller Neill, Riverwoods, Illinois
Pam G. Ohnemus, Davenport, Iowa
Tim D. Olson, Dubuque, Iowa
Mary H. Phelan, Chicago, Illinois
Trey Reis, Des Moines, Iowa
Randy Richmond, Muscatine, Iowa
Robert H. Rivoire, Galena, Illinois
Karen Sebesta, Hudson, Wisconsin
Brian W. Stewart, St Paul, Minnesota
Amenda J. Tate Corso, West Des Moines, Iowa
Greg Thatcher, Fairfield, Iowa
Jeffrey A. Thompson, Des Moines, Iowa
Grant W. Thye, Grundy Center, Iowa
Lisa Towers, Dubuque, Iowa
Cindy Vondran, Rockton, Illinois
Joan A. Webster-Vore, Hudson, Iowa
Lacey Windschitl, Chicago, Illinois
Amy E. Witte, Ankeny, Iowa
Dawn R. Wohlford, Bettendorf, Iowa
Molly Wood, Des Moines, Iowa

The Artist Revealed

Two Centuries of Portraits from Cezanne to Dylan

May 12, 2017 - August 6, 2017

The Artist Revealed

The Artist Revealed: Two Centuries of Portraits from Cezanne to Dylan includes more than 60 self-portraits and portraits, made by and depicting leading 19th, 20th and 21st century artists.
For nearly as long as humans have lived, we have drawn, painted and sculpted our own image and that of others. For most of history, portraiture served a very practical purpose: to document our own existence and to capture an accurate likeness for posterity. This began to change in the late 19th century, as cameras and film became readily available and affordable technologies for the general public. While artists continued to create portraits, they no longer served as the primary record of their subject. Instead, and in keeping with broader trends in modern art, many artists sought to express a feeling and capture the inner essence, rather than the outward appearance, of their subjects.

The Artist Revealed traces this history, beginning with the earliest work in the exhibition, a small wood engraving by American Winslow Homer, dating to 1857; continuing to Paul Cezanne, a French Post-Impressionist artist; and extending to contemporary images by artists as diverse as Norman Rockwell, Alex Katz, Dieter Roth, and Rose Frantzen.

Other highlights include Milton Glaser’s iconic portrait of American songwriter Bob Dylan, on loan from the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., and Grant Wood’s only painted self-portrait, on loan from the Figge Art Museum in Davenport.

Not surprisingly, a majority of the images in the exhibition depict visual artists; however, leading figures in other creative fields, including music, literature, and film, are represented, too.

Complete list of lenders:

Public collections: Des Moines Art Center, the Figge Art Museum, Grinnell College Falconer Gallery, the National Portrait Galleries in Washington D.C., and Syracuse University Art Galleries.
Private Collections: Dan Weitz, Rose Frantzen, Diego Lasansky, Larry Gerber, and Jessica Rebik.

Click here listen to DuMA Education Director Margaret Buhr and Director David Schmitz discuss some of the works in The Artist Revealed.

Shiny, Sticky, Smooth: Pop Art and the Senses

From the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation

February 24, 2017 - May 14, 2017

Shiny, Sticky, Smooth

An exhibition of over 50 rarely-seen works of Pop Art relating to sight, smell, taste, and touch on view in the Falb Family Gallery and on the Amuse Bouche Balcony Gallery, both located on the museum’s second level.

Known for its bold color and graphic images – inspired by advertising, movies, television, and comic strips of the late 1950s and 1960s – the modern art movement commonly called “Pop Art” embraced the visual language of popular culture and left a lasting mark on American art and culture.

This exhibition, which includes more than 50 prints and sculptures – several spanning more than 7 feet – features such notable Pop artists as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Wayne Thiebaud, James Rosenquist, and Claes Oldenburg and offers a fresh perspective on a familiar period in art history and mass culture.

“We are excited to bring this remarkable collection to Dubuque and to share Pop Art with our museum visitors for the first time, said DUMA Executive Director David Schmitz. “Though perhaps less shocking, Pop art movement is as relevant to our current times as it was originally in the late 1950s and 60s, when the power of media, advertising and popular culture to shape our understanding of the world around us became apparent. Pop Art and Pop artists simply drew our attention to that reality.”

Jordan D. Schnitzer and his Family Foundation

Runde Auto Group

Image: Robert Cottingham, (American, b. 1935), American Signs: ART, ed. 67/100, 2009, screenprint, 40 1/8 x 39 1/8 inches, Collection of Jordan D. Schnitzer, 2013.72b

Fire and Ice: Paintings of the Mississippi River by John Anderson-Bricker

February 17, 2017 - April 30, 2017

Fire and Ice

Experience the Mississippi River from the perspective of an artist who has painted it in every season since 1997. Concentrating on those biannual extremes of our Midwestern climate – the boiling humidity of summer and the deep freeze of winter – this collection of colorful and expressive acrylic riverscapes by Dubuque sculptor and painter John Anderson-Bricker features paintings created over this 20 year period.

Some of the earliest celebrated American artists from the Hudson River School were best known for the spiritual inspiration they found in the forests and mountains along the Hudson River in the Northeastern United States. For Anderson-Bricker, finding inspiration along the Mississippi continues this tradition. His journey to visually explore the man-made versus the natural environments of the river during extreme seasonal cycles evolved to mirror his personal journey through unexpected physical setbacks and discovering his own resiliency to persist and adapt.

With his focus on river and climate, Anderson-Bricker visualizes the sensory experiences of extreme weather conditions along the local backwaters and banks of the mighty Mississippi. According to the artist, “The height of the summer and winter seasons forces [me] to convey an uncontrollable aspect of the natural world. Uncomfortable environmental conditions of heat, humidity, frigidity, and snow afford access to light, color, and textures of desiccation, vapor, reflected light, water, and ice. While the hottest days of summer reveal the manic, overabundant fertility of the season, the ice of winter suggests the absence of living things.”

Anderson-Bricker was born in Michigan in 1967. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1990 from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He taught art in Syracuse, New York for six years before relocating with his wife Kristin to Dubuque in 1997 where he has been an adjunct instructor at Loras College and on staff at the Dubuque Museum of Art. He has exhibited at Art on the River, the DUMA Biennial, and the Carnegie-Stout Public Library in Dubuque. His paintings and sculptures can be found in many regional and national private and public collections. He has been active in many local art projects with Dubuque public schools, local non-profits, and as a juror for the city’s Art on the River project.

Image: John Anderson-Bricker, Vapor II: Volunteer Drive, Dubuque, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 48×36 in. ea., collection of the artist.

Glab Children’s Gallery


February 7, 2017 - March 26, 2017

Glab Children’s Gallery

Japanese Children’s Drawings from the Permanent Collection and Smithsonian posters celebrating Black History Month