The Des Moines Art Center’s collection tells the story of modern and contemporary art.

It features 19th-century Impressionism to the best of today’s international art. The collection includes painting, sculpture, photography, prints, video, fiber, and other craft-based works.

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The Art Center has built a renowned collection of international modern and contemporary art.

The Art Center’s goal is to emphasize quality over quantity, striving to collect a signature example of each artist’s work. Highlights include Georgia O’Keeffe (From the Lake No. 1, 1924), Edward Hopper (Automat, 1927), Francis Bacon (Study after Velazquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X, 1953), Ai Weiwei (Sunflower Seeds, 2009), and Wangechi Mutu (Water Woman, 2017), to name a few.

Pappajohn Sculpture Park

The John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park was established in September 2009. The park is situated in the heart of downtown Des Moines. Western Gateway Park sits on 4.4 acres of land. The park is designed to provide visitors a sense of scale as they walk the grounds. Viewers can see multiple perspectives through topographic design elements known as “waves.”

Visitors can explore the collection of more than 30 outdoor works. The collection reflects an international cross-section of major artists. The art offers various subjects and materials in the dynamic genre of monumental sculpture. Featured artists include Louise Bourgeois, Olafur Eliasson, Keith Haring, Yayoi Kusama, Jaume Plensa, Martin Puryear, and Mark di Suvero.

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Image Permissions

  • Rights & Reproductions

    The Des Moines Art Center provides images for educational presentations, professional research, print and electronic publications, as well as media projects. All requests for such reproductions must be made in writing. Permissions are granted at the sole discretion of the Des Moines Art Center. Please contact us for information concerning permissions, or to request photographic materials of works in the Des Moines Art Center’s permanent collection.

  • Available Photography

    The Des Moines Art Center has high resolution digital photography and color transparencies available for reproduction. Low resolution color slides and black & white prints are available for academic research and lecture use only. They are not permitted for publication. If there are no photographic materials available of requested images, there will be a fee for new photography.

  • Request Processing & Terms of Use

    Please submit your request in writing, along with a completed Des Moines Art Center Reproduction Application. The Des Moines Art Center Rights & Reproductions department requires six weeks for processing. There is no rush on new photography. Following receipt and approval of your request and application, we will send you an invoice and a Rights and Reproductions Agreement. The invoice must be paid in full, and the Rights and Reproductions Agreement signed and returned before photography is released.

    Requests for photographic materials of the Des Moines Art Center’s permanent collection along with your completed Des Moines Art Center Reproduction Application can be sent to the Des Moines Art Center using email, fax, or USPS.

    Email: Megan Cohen

    USPS:  Rights & Reproductions
    Des Moines Art Center
    4700 Grand Avenue
    Des Moines, IA 50312

    Fax*: (515) 255-1006
    *Please send all faxes to the attention of Megan Cohen, Associate Registrar.

Admission is free! Start planning your visit today.