Figge Art Museum – More Than Meets the Eye

“Bringing art and people together. We enrich our community with the experience of art through education, collections, exhibitions, and preservation.” This is the Mission Statement of the Figge Art Museum in Davenport. College students in the Quad Cities will be admitted free of charge during normal business hours. Simply take your Black Hawk ID card to get in.

Tim Schiffer, Executive Director at the Figge, encourages college students to use the museum as an extension of their education, stating, “Our exhibits will give them a different experience that might help them better understand their own lives and emotions, and actually give them perspective on the other things they are studying.”

Current exhibitions that might be of interest include the Living Proof Exhibit: Cancer Survivor Art, which displays creations made by cancer survivors and patients within a 150-mile radius of the Quad Cities. The Figge is partnered with Living Proof Exhibit to provide free art therapy classes to cancer patients and survivors. Hurry in for this exhibit because it ends Oct. 26, 2014.

The Artists First: College Art Faculty of the Quad Cities features works by area art professors from Ashford University, Augustana College, Black Hawk College, Eastern Iowa Community College, Knox College, Monmouth College, St. Ambrose College and Western Illinois University. This exhibit will run through November 2, 2014.

When the faculty exhibit closes, Mr. Schiffer said the Figge will open their annual College Invitational, displaying artwork by college students from around this area. Also next month, Nov. 2, they will have their annual Day of the Dead celebration featuring hand-on activities, music and food.

Another feature of interest is African American Art Since 1950: Perspectives from the David C. Driskell Center. This exhibit will run through January 4, 2015 and features a wide range of art styles and media. Artists in this collection include Faith Ringgold, Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett and Sam Gilliam.

Regular galleries on display feature Frank Lloyd Wright: The Art of Living, Northern Europe: Conflict and Reform, National Identity and Visual Culture: 19th Century American Art, Art and Devotion in Viceregal New Spain, The Spirit of Haiti, The American West as Myth, Artica Gallery, and The American Scene: A Portrait of Everyday Life.

In addition to the various traveling exhibits and galleries, they offer a variety of art classes for youth and adults, as well as weekly events like “Thursdays at the Figge.” This event generally runs from 5:00-9:00 p.m., is free to the public, and offers anything from lectures, special classes, and special performances or activities. Attendees are also invited to tour the museum during this time.

Upcoming Thursday events for October include a reception for the African American Art Since 1950 exhibit on Oct. 16, 2014. Then on the following week, Oct. 23 they will have an Interpretive Response in Dance and Music performance.

College students are invited to volunteer to help out with free family days and other activities. Internships are also offered. Visit their website at for details about classes and other special events or opportunities.

Mr Schiffer suggested that students might gain bonus points with their professors by visiting the museum. “I’m sure if Black Hawk students tell their teachers (whether it be history, English, art history, math or whatever) that they stopped in to see the latest exhibits at the Figge over the weekend, the professors will be very impressed!”