For Immediate Release
Contact: Jordan Powers or Sarah DeSantis
Tel: 515.271.0344 or 515.271.0303
Email: or


DES MOINES, IOWA (JUNE 2020) – When the Des Moines Art Center reopens on July 7, 2020, the John Brady Print Gallery will feature Landscapes in Watercolor, a selection of more than two dozen watercolors from the museum’s collections, created between 1885 and 1980.

Organized by Associate Curator Jared Ledesma, these works reveal the unique ability of watercolor to capture the changing effects of light and weather on seashores, grasslands, forest, and farmland. From thin veils of color to strong, bright brushstrokes, visitors will see the hand of each artist in depicting the natural world.

“This gathering of exceptional watercolors offers our community a refreshing pause and a chance to appreciate this exuberant medium. And the technical merit these artists possess in producing such brilliant pictures is astounding,” Ledesma said.

Artists in the exhibition include Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, and John Marin, among many others. The exhibition will remain on view throughout the summer, with a closing date to be determined.

On August 9, the Iowa Watercolor Society will be painting on the Art Center’s lawn from noon to 2 p.m. Fellow watercolor students and artists are welcome to join them, and the public can observe the creative process in action, with social distancing guidelines in place. The exhibition will also include a short video demonstrating three techniques of watercolor painting, with examples of each type on view.

* Additional images available upon request


About the Des Moines Art Center

Recognized by international art critics as a world-class museum in the heart of the Midwest, the Des Moines Art Center, an AAM-accredited institution, has amassed an important collection with a major emphasis on contemporary art. The collection’s overriding principle is a representation of artists from the 19th century to the present, each through a seminal work. This accounts for an impressive collection that ranges from Edward Hopper’s Automat to Jasper Johns’ Tennyson, Henri Matisse’s Woman in White, Georgia O’Keeffe’s From the Lake No. 1, Francis Bacon’s Study after Velázquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X, Bill Viola’s Ascension, and Cecily Brown’s Half-Bind.

The Art Center’s physical complex marries with the collection for a totally integrated experience. The collection is housed in three major buildings, each designed by a world-renowned architect—Eliel Saarinen, I. M. Pei, and Richard Meier. With the exception of special events, admission to the museum is free.

In September 2009, the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park opened in Des Moines’ Western Gateway Park. Philanthropists John and Mary Pappajohn provided funding for and donated 31 sculptures by internationally acclaimed contemporary artists to the Des Moines Art Center. The collection of sculptures by such artists as Ai Weiwei, Louise Bourgeois, Deborah Butterfield, Willem de Kooning, Mark di Suvero, Olafur Eliasson, Keith Haring, Robert Indiana, Ellsworth Kelly, Yayoi Kusama, Jaume Plensa, and Richard Serra, and Joel Shapiro is the most significant donation of artwork to the Art Center in a single gift in the museum’s history. The Pappajohn Sculpture Park is a collaboration of the Pappajohns, the City of Des Moines, the Des Moines Art Center, and numerous corporate and private donors.

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