University Museums

Media File
Title: Equitable Life Insurance Co. Tablet
Name: Bas Relief
Date: 1933
Medium: Bronze
Country/Culture: American
Dimensions: 32 × 18 × 1 in. (81.3 × 45.7 × 2.5 cm)
Classification: Sculpture
Credit Line: Gift of Voya, Des Moines, Iowa. In the Christian Petersen Art Collection, University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
Object Number: UM2017.383
More Information
After arriving in Des Moines on May 7, 1855 Frederick Marion (F.M.) Hubbell was hired as a clerk in the local land office. He went on to invested in land, narrow gauge railroads, water companies, and most significantly, insurance. In the 1860s after an insurance salesman from New York attempted to sell him a life insurance policy F.M. became curious about where the company would invest his premiums. He then decided to form his own insurance company with the idea that the premiums would be invested in Iowa, and particularly Iowa farmland. Hubbell and 15 prominent citizens of Des Moines created Equitable Life Insurance Company of Iowa in 1867. By 1920, his family owned the company. It stayed in the family until 1997 when it was acquired by ING U.S, now known as Voya Financial.

Beginning in 1924 Hubbell’s company occupied the Equitable Building at 604 Locust Street in downtown Des Moines. For nearly 50 years it was the tallest building in Iowa, until the completion of Financial Center in 1973. The Christian Petersen bas reliefs on exhibit were commissioned for the building by the Equitable Life Insurance Company in 1933.