Past Exhibitions

City-wide Student Kindergarten-8th Grade Art Exhibit

March 25, 2019 - April 14, 2019

Student K-8 Exhibit

Celebrate the work of young Dubuque artists in kindergarten through 8th grade.
Art work will be displayed in the Museum lobby March 25th – April 14th.

Family and guardians of the young artists may see the student work without purchasing museum admission, simply mention you are here to see the K-8 exhibit to the front desk attendant.

There will be an opening for this exhibit March 4th, from 5-8 PM.


Madai Taylor: An Elegy to America in Black and White

January 25, 2019 - April 28, 2019

Madai Taylor

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