Current Exhibitions

Remnants of the West

Photography by Edward S. Curtis and Mark James

September 2, 2017 - January 7, 2018

Remnants of the West

This unique exhibition of 40 photographs spans more than a century, presenting contemporary landscape photographer Mark James alongside early 20th century photographer Edward S. Curtis. Both artists found inspiration in the American West. While Colorado photographer Mark James focuses exclusively on the natural landscape, Curtis documented Native American tribes and in the process captured stunning landscapes as backdrops to daily life. James has drawn inspiration from Curtis and Pictorialism, the 19th century art movement that promoted photography as an art form. Throughout the exhibition the images show this influence in direct, one-to-one conversations – connecting the past to the present.

Dimensions of Photography: Dubuque Camera Club 5th Annual Exhibition

September 2, 2017 - October 29, 2017

Dimensions of Photography

The Dubuque Museum of Art is proud to host the 5th annual exhibition of photography by members of the Dubuque Camera Club. DUMA is excited to continue its partnership with our local camera club as both organizations strive to foster the continuing evolution of photography as an art form. The theme of this year’s exhibition focuses on the versatility of digital photography and the degree of technique utilized in the making of a picture. The exhibition is arranged by the progression of the level of camera work, specialized equipment, and technical skill required. Beginning with straightforward techniques that are more reliant on the positioning and judgement of an experienced photographer. Followed by images that require a higher level of camera work, advanced equipment, and controlled environments. And ending with the full-on creative process of post-production work, where photographers manipulate and create their images using desktop publishing software.

About the Dubuque Camera Club

The Dubuque Camera Club has been in existence since the early 1940s with its start at the Dubuque YMCA. The current club has over 30 members and is part of the N4C which is an organization of 42 camera clubs in 11 North Central states. N4C organizes contests where images are submitted and judged by members from other clubs with winners receiving awards. Photo enthusiasts of all skill levels are encouraged to join and learn more about photography, become a qualifying member of N4C, and be eligible to participate in contests and activities. More information about the Dubuque Camera Club can be found online at

Curious Constructions

Photography by Les Allen

August 19, 2017 - November 5, 2017

Curious Constructions

Dixon, Illinois photographer Les Allen constructs meticulous still-life scenes out of curious objects and uses these surreal creations to make his black and white silver gelatin photographs, 22 of which are on view in this exhibition. Although it is important for Allen “to invent and construct [his] own ephemeral worlds from scratch” as part of his creative process, the production of the actual photograph carries equal significance in his photography.

Despite many challenges, photographers who continue the tradition of film do so for the love of the medium, where they are part of the final product and the physical print itself remains a product of their hands. With Allen’s images, the subjects he photographs are also the product of his hands. As he collects and creates objects that spark his curiosity, he assembles them into one-of-kind arrangements, resembling a stage set or a diorama, and photographs them using dramatic lighting effects. Working in black and white focuses attention on the shapes and details in the scene and gives the images a nostalgic quality mirroring the nostalgia of traditional film photography.

Les Allen has been actively involved in photography for over 45 years. He studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, earning his BFA degree in painting and drawing in 1973 and in 1975 his MFA degree in filmmaking and photography. For 35 years he taught art full-time in public high school where he developed and greatly expanded the photography program in his district. Concurrently he taught for the Young Artists’ Studios at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and was instrumental in developing their outdoor art education program. Allen also taught at College of DuPage, Moraine Valley Community College, and at Governor’s State University. In 1986 he received the Kohl Foundation’s “International Award for Exemplary Teaching.” Now retired, Allen spends his time teaching classes for the Viva Arts program at The Next Picture Show in Dixon and is pursuing his life-long passion of film photography. For more information, visit his website at