University Museums

Collections

University Museums, Iowa State University prohibits the copying or reproduction in any medium of materials on this website with the following exceptions: Iowa State University students, faculty, and staff for educational use in formal instruction, papers, presentations and projects; limited non-commercial; and personal use that meets the criteria for fair use as defined in the U.S. copyright laws. 
Images from the University Museums’ collection cannot be used for publication, apparel/non-apparel merchandise, digital or commercial purposes without prior written permission from the University Museums, Iowa State University. Fair use does not apply to the extent that a license agreement or other contract controls reproduction or other use. University Museums and Iowa State University makes no representation that it is the owner of the copyright of the art object depicted in the photo materials and assumes no responsibility for any claims by third parties arising out of use of the photo materials. Users must obtain all other permissions required for usage of the art object and the photo materials. 

For more information, please see http://www.museums.iastate.edu/ImageReproduction.html
University Museums, Iowa State University prohibits the copying or reproduction in any medium of materials on this website with the following exceptions: Iowa State University students, faculty, and staff for educational use in formal instruction, papers, presentations and projects; limited non-commercial; and personal use that meets the criteria for fair use as defined in the U.S. copyright laws. 
Images from the University Museums’ collection cannot be used for publication, apparel/non-apparel merchandise, digital or commercial purposes without prior written permission from the University Museums, Iowa State University. Fair use does not apply to the extent that a license agreement or other contract controls reproduction or other use. University Museums and Iowa State University makes no representation that it is the owner of the copyright of the art object depicted in the photo materials and assumes no responsibility for any claims by third parties arising out of use of the photo materials. Users must obtain all other permissions required for usage of the art object and the photo materials. 

For more information, please see http://www.museums.iastate.edu/ImageReproduction.html
University Museums, Iowa State University prohibits the copying or reproduction in any medium of materials on this website with the following exceptions: Iowa State University students, faculty, and staff for educational use in formal instruction, papers, presentations and projects; limited non-commercial; and personal use that meets the criteria for fair use as defined in the U.S. copyright laws. 
Images from the University Museums’ collection cannot be used for publication, apparel/non-apparel merchandise, digital or commercial purposes without prior written permission from the University Museums, Iowa State University. Fair use does not apply to the extent that a license agreement or other contract controls reproduction or other use. University Museums and Iowa State University makes no representation that it is the owner of the copyright of the art object depicted in the photo materials and assumes no responsibility for any claims by third parties arising out of use of the photo materials. Users must obtain all other permissions required for usage of the art object and the photo materials. 

For more information, please see http://www.museums.iastate.edu/ImageReproduction.html

Explore the University Museums through eMuseum! This educational tool was created to support students and faculty in their quest for knowledge by providing access to search the permanent collection. The University Museums' permanent collection at Iowa State University includes more than 30,000 objects with significant collections in the areas of the Decorative Arts, the art of Christian Petersen, Public Art, and Iowa Artists. Up to now only a portion of the museum's permanent collection has been available to view online. The eMuseum tool will allow you to now fully explore the collection, whether currently on view or in storage, by putting all of the permanent collection online.

The University Museums at Iowa State began in 1975 and currently consists of the Anderson Sculpture Garden, Art on Campus Collection, Brunnier Art Museum, Christian Petersen Art Museum, and Farm House Museum. Since 1975 a variety of Museum staff members, interns and volunteers have worked to describe and find background information on the objects in the collection. We continue to update our records, take photographs, and add more detailed descriptions. Our goal through eMuseum is to create vital partnerships within Iowa State University and to enhance higher education by exploring creative interactions in the arts, sciences and technology.

This is an ongoing project so please check back for new research, updated information and photographs, and new acquisitions. The objects listed here represent a majority of the University Museums' collection. While we are committed to make the entire collection accessible via the internet, museum staff recognizes that some information may not be accurate and up-to-date. If you have information relevant to any of the objects you find on our site, we would be grateful to know about it. Please direct any inquiries to aclone@iastate.edu.

Funding for the University eMuseum project has been generously provided by Carole Horowitz, Kathy and John Howell, IBM, Al and Ann Jennings and a TechStarter Grant through IT Services at Iowa State University.

Art on Campus Collection

Iowa State has been commissioning and collecting public art for nearly 100 years and the intent has remained consistent - to create an intellectually and culturally stimulating campus environment. More than 650 significant, and more than 2,000 total, public works of art promote social, political and cultural discussions reflecting the diverse values and belief systems of the campus community. Public art is a partnership between the artist and the commissioning campus community and provides a unique sense of place while promoting the practice of visual literacy to the entire university.

The Art on Campus Collection is continually growing through the Art in State Buildings (AiSB) Program, originally enacted in 1978 by the Iowa Legislature. The law requires one-half of one percent of state building construction funds be used for acquiring public art.

The Art on Campus Collection also includes models, drawings, maquettes and works of art from the permanent collections, exploring the creative processes public artists use to research, create and install the public works of art in the Art on Campus Collection. This part of the collection is housed at The Christian Petersen Art Museum, which is the nation’s only campus museum devoted to teaching visual literacy campus-wide while focusing on public art as a major means of communication and expression to campus audiences.

Christian Petersen Art Collection

Christian Petersen created more than 1,250 known works of art during his lifetime, and nearly 80% of his sketches, drawings and sculptures are included in the Christian Petersen Art Collection at Iowa State. Christian Petersen was sculptor in residence at Iowa State for twenty one years, from 1934 to 1955. Petersen originally came to Iowa at the invitation of artist Grant Wood during the Great Depression to participate in the federal Public Works of Art Projects for Iowa State and stayed to make a permanent and lasting impression on the campus landscape.

Decorative Arts

In 1962, Ann and Henry Brunnier pledged to Iowa State a collection of dolls and decorative arts amassed over fifty-five years. The donation included a comprehensive European, North American and Asian decorative art collection. This was comprised of glass, ceramics, Old Russian enamels, and ivory carvings. Ann’s collection included more than 4,000 objects, filling two semi-trucks. Since this original donation, hundreds of other private patrons have donated other decorative arts collections to expand the University Museums’ permanent collections. In addition to a large encyclopedic collection of glass, fine ceramics, Russian enamels and ivory, this collection also includes furniture, jades, pottery, snuff bottles, and carved wood objects.

Dolls, Games and Toys

In 1962, Ann and Henry Brunnier pledged to Iowa State a collection of dolls and decorative arts amassed over fifty-five years. The donation included a comprehensive European, North American and Asian doll collection. Ann’s total collection included more than 4,000 objects, filling two semi-trucks. Since this original donation, the doll collection has been carefully curated to include some of the best of Ann’s collection. Victorian era games and toys are also in this collection, many of which are on display at the Farm House Museum.

Iowa Artists Collection

In 1975 University Museums did not initially plan an Iowa Artists Collection, but within five years it became apparent that this important artistic legacy needed to be addressed, both for Iowa State and the citizens of Iowa. As the Iowa Artist Collection grew through the exceptional generosity of donors and artists the Iowa Artists Collection became one of the most significant of University Museums’ collections. Artist included in the collection include those that were born and raised in Iowa, were educated in Iowa, and/or worked in Iowa for a period of time. There are now over 150 Iowa artists in the collection and over 2000 works of art by those artists spread throughout the campus.

Iowa Quester Glass Collection

The Iowa Quester Glass Collection now numbers over 1,000 objects ranging from monumental Brilliant Period cut glass to colorful art glass and a diverse array of Early American Pattern Glass. This unique collection, housed in and cared for by Iowa State University Museums, Ames, Iowa, showcases American glass from 1840 to 1950.

In 1996, a partnership was formed between the Iowa Questers led by Kay Beckett of the Neta Snook Chapter in Ames, then Iowa Questers’ State President, Shirley Foster, and University Museums’ director, Lynette Pohlman. At that time, the University Museums was known nationally for having an encyclopedic glass collection as recognized by scholars and the pre-eminent American glass museum, the Corning Museum of Glass of Corning, NY. After a vote from the Iowa Quester State Council the Iowa Quester Glass Collection was formalized with the following mission: “To establish an Iowa Questers Glass Collection, of historic glass from around the world, at Iowa State University Museums. This would provide a State of Iowa resource for preserving, viewing and interpreting historic glass objects. The focus will be on American-made glass from 1840-1945.”

Now the bulk of the collection is American pressed glass pre-Depression Era most of which would fall under the Early American Pressed Glass (EAPG) group. Iconic works of glass include a Jumbo pattern table set, many pieces of Iowa City and Keota glass, a Rebecca at the Well tall standard compote, Terrestrial Globe pattern butter dish, examples from historical glass, the state’s series, and novelties. Thoughtful gifting of three major pressed glass collections just this past two years included over 130 toothpick holders, dozens of whale oil lamps, and a collection of 50+ sauce dishes and other glass works. With the help of many chapters, individuals, partners and collaborators, the collection continues to grow by leaps and bounds!
University Museums, Iowa State University prohibits the copying or reproduction in any medium of materials on this website with the following exceptions: Iowa State University students, faculty, and staff for educational use in formal instruction, papers, presentations and projects; limited non-commercial; and personal use that meets the criteria for fair use as defined in the U.S. copyright laws. 
Images from the University Museums’ collection cannot be used for publication, apparel/non-apparel merchandise, digital or commercial purposes without prior written permission from the University Museums, Iowa State University. Fair use does not apply to the extent that a license agreement or other contract controls reproduction or other use. University Museums and Iowa State University makes no representation that it is the owner of the copyright of the art object depicted in the photo materials and assumes no responsibility for any claims by third parties arising out of use of the photo materials. Users must obtain all other permissions required for usage of the art object and the photo materials. 

For more information, please see http://www.museums.iastate.edu/ImageReproduction.html

Paintings

Highlights of the paintings in the University Museums permanent collection include the twelve painting series America in the Making by N.C. Wyeth, paintings commissioned in the 1930s, and contemporary paintings by significant American artists.

Commissioning portraits of high level administration positions such as President, Vice President, Provost, Dean, Department Head, etc. has been a long standing tradition at Iowa State that continues in to the present. The portrait collection represents a group of individuals who have had a long standing impact on Iowa State and have left behind a legacy of dedication, hard work, and accomplishment.

Sculpture

Sculpture in the permanent collection ranges from works in glass and stone to bronze and fabric. This collection includes North and South American, Asian, African and European sculpture.

Textiles and Jewelry

The textile collection ranges from historic apparel, linens, rugs and quilts to Native American and contemporary weavings. The permanent collection has fine and costume jewelry, watches, and eyewear.

Works of Art on Paper

Works of art on paper includes the drawings, photographs, and prints in the collection. The drawings in this collection include a range from realism to abstraction and landscapes to cartoons. Notable artist include Christian Petersen, Frank Miller, Frank Lobdell, and Ellen Wagener. The prints in University Museums permanent collection range early 1800s fashion prints to a large collection of American Scene prints by Depression era artists like Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton, John Steuart Curry, and Louis Lozowick. The collection also boasts the largest collection of fine art prints and printing plates by Jay N. “Ding” Darling as well as prints by significant contemporary printmakers such as Amy Worthen, Beth VanHoesen, and Mark Adams. Many of the photographs in the collection are of ISU campus by George Christensen and King Au.