Since its founding, the Des Moines Art Center has acquired artworks by many African-American artists to ensure an inclusive and diverse permanent collection.

For example, the Art Center’s forerunner, the Des Moines Association of Fine Arts, and its founders were fortunate to have acquired four extraordinary paintings by Henry Ossawa Tanner early in our history. Considered the patriarch of African- American artists, Tanner even served as a consultant for the early leaders of the Art Center, connecting them with the major art and artists of his time, such as Auguste Rodin. In the years that followed, the Art Center has accessioned numerous artworks by artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Romare Bearden, Robert Colescott, David Hammons, Lorna Simpson, Kara Walker, Carrie Mae Weems,
and Fred Wilson, among many others. Now, the Art Center has a renewed commitment to be an inclusive and accessible institution for the entire community.

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