“Before Modern Art” is a look into the Des Moines Art Center’s remarkable historic collections.

Although best known for its exceptional holdings in modern and contemporary art, the Des Moines Art Center owns a remarkable collection of works on paper that date back to the 15th-century, including work by Albrecht Dürer, Canaletto, Katsukawa Shunsho, Utagawa Toyokuni, and Francisco de Goya. In celebration of the museum’s 75th anniversary, this exhibition showcases some of the oldest works in our collections, including 15th to 18th century prints from across Western Europe, South and East Asia.

Artworks featured will cover an array of styles and subject matter, including portraiture, landscape, religious and mythological scenes, and natural history studies. Some of these works have periodically been included in larger thematic exhibitions, but this will be the first opportunity in almost 25 years for our audiences to enjoy the scope and breadth of this important part of the Art Center’s collections.

“Before Modern Art” is organized by Associate Curator, Mia Laufer.