Current Exhibitions


Madai Taylor: An Elegy to America in Black and White

January 25, 2019 - April 28, 2019

An Elegy to America in Black and White

Fort Dodge, Iowa artist Madai Taylor presents a moving exhibition of sculptural works on paper from his series, An Elegy to America in Black and White, on view on the museum’s Amuse Bouche balcony gallery.

Layers of rich black dirt, cotton rope, and paint on roofing tar paper are the foundation materials used by Taylor to construct this stratified body of work. Using locally sourced soil and gypsum, he achieves a range of tones and textures. Although his images exist within the vocabulary of painting, the works have a strong sculptural aesthetic with visually complex surfaces and powerful symbolism. He calls his artistic process “primitive scripture.” The tactile accumulation of physical earth reveals a bold commentary on modern life built from religious faith.

Taylor felt compelled to create this series in response to the proliferation of senseless violence against young black men in recent years. He sees this as spiritual problem, as he explained, “Any Christian should see this is deeper than race — this is a spiritual issue. Because anyone that’s a Christian or promotes the love of God has to recognize regardless of race, inhumane treatment of any soul is not showing forth the love that Christ promoted.”

Taylor was born in Lake Village, Arkansas. In addition to working as a full-time artist, he is also the bishop at Agape Kingdom Dominion Ministries in Fort Dodge. He has exhibited extensively and worked in a curatorial capacity in Iowa, Idaho, Georgia, Illinois, and Arkansas.

Image credit: Madai Taylor, “The Black Holocaust,” (detail) 2016, Iowa earth on roofing paper, 48×48 in., collection of the artist

African American Art in the 20th Century from the Collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum

January 19, 2019 - April 21, 2019

African American Art in the 20th Century

African American Art in the 20th Century presents a selection of 50 paintings, sculpture, and prints by thirty-six black artists who explored the African American experience from the Harlem Renaissance through the Civil Rights era and the decades beyond, which saw tremendous social and political changes. In response, these artists created an image of America that recognizes individuals and community and acknowledges the role of art in celebrating the multivalent nature of American society.

African American Art in the 20th Century is a traveling exhibition organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The C.F Foundation in Atlanta supports the museum’s traveling exhibition program, Treasures to Go. The William R. Kenan Jr. Endowment Fund provided financial support. The exhibition is curated by Smithsonian American Art Chief Curator, Virginia Mecklenburg. Most of the artworks in the exhibition are drawn from the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s rich collection of African American art. Three works by Elizabeth Catlett are loaned from the University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art collection through the support of Legacies for Iowa: A University of Iowa Museum of Art Collections-Sharing Project, supported by the Matthew Bucksbaum Family. Support for the exhibition at the Dubuque Museum of Art is generously provided by Art Bridges.

Image credit: Sargent Johnson, Mask, ca. 1930-1935, copper on wood base, 15 ½ x 13 ½ x 6 inches, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of International Business Machines Corporation, 1966.27.4

Living Proof Exhibit: A Visualization of Hope

December 22, 2018 - March 15, 2019

Living Proof Exhibit: A Visualization of Hope

The Dubuque Museum of Art is pleased to host Living Proof Exhibit: A Visualization of Hope, featuring more than 25 artists from across the Tri-State region who have been impacted by cancer.

The works on display showcase the courage and creative spirit of these who have experienced cancer and reveal the range of feelings experienced during the cancer journey.

The project is in collaboration with the Quad Cities-based non-profit organization Living Proof Exhibit, whose mission is to enrich the lives of those impacted by cancer through the therapeutic benefits of the arts.

Professional as well as amateur artists living within a 200-mile radius of the Quad Cities were eligible to submit work for this juried exhibition, which debuted at the Figge Art Museum in fall 2018.


Marla Andich, Karen Austin, Maureen Bardusk, Carrol Brandt, Kent Broadbent, Mary Caravette-Shortridge, Gail Chavenelle, Pamela Crouch, Mary Ellen Cunningham, Bob Esbensen, Laura Goldman Weinberg, Connie Gross, Meg Guttman, Sharon Harmon, Hazel Harris, Mary Jo Hinds, Kay Irelan, Gina Kirschbaum, Sue Lemmon, Julie Mariet-Hast, Tara Moorman, Gerald Podraza, LaNae Ramos, Terri Reinartz, Linda Sykes, and Barbara Untiedt.